The Student News Site of University of Nebraska at Kearney

The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Renovations reveal Frank Museum history


Ongoing updates will tell story of museum, allow more access to history

Amanda Demilt

Antelope staff

Currently a mystery is developing at the G.W. Frank Museum of History and Culture on 2010 University Drive.

The museum is under renovation and the mystery is what is it’s going to look like and what new exhibits will there be once completed.

All of the changes are a part of a larger initiative to move away from just telling the story of George Frank. The Frank story will be re-interpreted ,and the rest of the story of the museum will be told.

There is an immense amount of history to the museum, and not all of it pertains to the Frank family while it was a home.

All the history that has been kept as an untold story will be revealed to museum goers.

“There is a pretty substantial history as the tuberculosis hospital that is arguably more significant than that of George and Phoebe Frank,” said William Stoutamire, Director of the G.W. Frank Museum

“The first floor of the museum is still going to be 1890s. We are still restoring a lot of it. Much of the restoration work that you see here is the stenciling. It’s actually being done by students as volunteers,” Stoutamire said.

The museum was also a sanitarium, a tuberculosis hospital called the Nebraska State Hospital for Tuberculosis, a part of the Kearney State College. The hospital lasted more years than the decade the Frank family called it home.

Ther plan is to open up the third floor and the basement to visitors as well. Visitors to the museum will get the experience the graffiti in basement or delve into the archives on the third floor and explore all the exhibits in between.

The first floor will remain about the same except for returning to the stenciled walls and kiosk full of information about the museum. There are secrets that can be discovered by visitors once the renovations and changes are complete.

Amherst native and history and social science major, junior Danny Ripp is a tour guide at the museum. She has worked at the museum for a year. Most of the time she is giving tours, but she has also helped with some of the stenciling.

For the most part Ripp helps with the renovations and changes where she is needed. She has embraced the changes saying even she struggles with all of the information there is to remember about the museum. The new kiosks and the interactive app will offer the visitors a multitude of information that before they did not have access to.

“I’m the most excited about letting people up to the third floor because I love the archive section and helping out in that section as well,” Ripp said

The look isn’t all that is being restored. There will be technological changes as well. When everything is complete visitors will be able to take a tour throughout the museum with their smart phones using an interactive app. They aren’t planning to do away with tour guides. The hope is that the visitors will gain more knowledge of the museum through the app.

“The mobile app is its own custom self-guided tour with about a dozen bluetooth beacons hidden throughout the house. The beacons will trigger content on the mobile. When you are standing in the master bedroom, the app will know you are in the master bedroom and will encourage you to look at the content pertaining to that room,” Stoutamire said.

The plan is to open the new exhibits, many of which can’t be disclosed at this point, and the mobile app by the end of the year. Once the renovations and updates are completed, visit the museum to discover more of the history of the building.


Leave a Comment
Donate to The Antelope

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Nebraska at Kearney . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Antelope

Comments (0)

All The Antelope Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *