North Dakota Military Gallery

Proposed front of the museum with the new military gallery expansion. The new entrance is a glass box that's half the width of the old entrance glass box that is also pictured to the right of the new entrance. Between them is a copper wall. To the right of the old entrance is a copper wall. To the left of the new entrance is a limestone wall.

The North Dakota Military Gallery will highlight connections among military life, civilian life, and the people who continue to shape North Dakota’s story.


It's a world-class history experience in the making. The future of North Dakota Military Gallery is now in the initial concept stages. Follow our progress as we move forward with exciting plans and a projected construction date of fall 2025.

This 20,000-square foot addition to the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum on the state Capitol grounds will be bursting with fascinating narratives to help us understand the military’s and North Dakota’s influence around the world. You will encounter the first Native American military societies, acts of bravery, secret missions, humanitarian aid, and pivotal moments in history.

Whether exploring humanitarian work or conflict-based missions, these stories of North Dakota’s military role in the world can help us understand how the past continues to influence the present. We will invite visitors to think about how to create a safer world, learn how to spark respectful global conversations on diverse topics, and enhance understanding of inclusivity and cultural protection strategies. Personal accounts of North Dakota’s hometown heroes will help guests reflect on the concepts of passion, honor, bravery, and peace as well as inspire action.

“Freedoms we enjoy today are due to sacrifices of those who have chosen to serve in our armed forces," says Brig. Gen. Jackie Huber, North Dakota National Guard, "by sharing our history, the great stories that need to be told, we will inspire a new generation to understand the importance of the military and service.”

What’s Inside the Entire State Museum Addition?

This 54,000-square-foot building design is in the draft stages and subject to change. It includes a 20,000-square-foot Military Gallery plus ample space for large events, a few staff offices, and storage. Visitors will also delight in an expanded café and seating area as well as a patio deck overlooking the beautiful grounds.

blueprint of State Museum expansion, including the new military gallery

Within the Military Gallery, rich immersive exhibits and engaging experiences will tell stories of our military history from early Native American practices before statehood to today. North Dakota’s servicepeople are at the heart of this gallery. Exhibits will provide context for conversations about how past military actions impact current political situations. Personal stories of those who have served will help visitors connect with North Dakota’s history through the eyes and voices of individual soldiers. Visitors will be invited to reflect upon multiple viewpoints related to topics such as peace and protection. Special spaces will memorialize those who have fallen and honor North Dakotans who continue to serve.

Where Will the Military Museum Gallery Be Located?

The North Dakota Military Gallery will connect to the ND Heritage Center & State Museum on its south side, where the building’s new entrance will be located. The State Historical Society of North Dakota will manage this new gallery and additional spaces.

Using the natural topography of the hillside, the gallery will offer two stories of engaging exhibits and immersive experiences. The architects are considering sustainable practices in the design. Looking ahead, the architectural design will allow for smart and thoughtful future expansion of additional museum galleries.

What Is the Investment in This Project?

This addition to the ND Heritage Center & State Museum is estimated to cost about $58 million. The state Legislative Assembly authorized a line of credit from the Bank of North Dakota for up to $20 million, with the remainder being raised through a North Dakota National Guard Foundation capital campaign currently underway.

Who Is Planning This Gallery?

The North Dakota National Guard and its foundation and the State Historical Society of North Dakota and its foundation are partnering on dreaming, concepting, and designing this gem. State government teams and representatives from military branches, tribal nations, private businesses, veterans’ organizations, and many additional public and private entities are together helping to create plans for this exciting development.