The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, a fixture in the city since 1984, has announced that it will build a new permanent home in the West End Historic District in downtown Dallas.
When the new location opens, the museum will also have a new name, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, a change that was done in response to recent events and general societal landscape in Texas.
“At a time when Texas leads the nation in the number of active hate groups, and the Dallas community is still healing from the July 7 attack on local law enforcement officers, the most violent and hateful act against law enforcement officers since 9/11, we believe the mission of the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is more important than ever,” said museum president and CEO Mary Pat Higgins in a release.
The new museum will be built on what is currently a parking lot directly across the DART Rail corridor from the museum's current location at 211 N. Record St. The property, located at the intersection of Houston Street and Pacific Avenue, is already owned by the museum and is diagonally across Houston from the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.
The new museum, being designed by Omniplan Architects, will be around 50,000 square feet, four times the museum's current size, and will be able to accommodate more than 200,000 visitors a year.
Among the features to be showcased at the new museum will be new exhibit galleries on human rights and American ideals, interactive content and technology, an original boxcar used by the Nazis to transport Jews and others during the Holocaust, a 250-seat theater, new classrooms, an expanded library and archive, and a special reflection and memorial area for visitors.
The museum is in the middle of the campaign to raise funds for the new location. So far, it has raised more than $43 million of the expected $61 million budget. Construction will begin when the goal is reached, with officials expecting the project to take around two years.
The museum, started by a group of local survivors to preserve the memory of what they had endured, was originally named the Holocaust Memorial Center and located in the basement of the Jewish Community Center building on Northaven Road in North Dallas. In 2005, the renamed Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance opened at its current location.