Pratt to close this winter for renovations

The Pratt Museum will close to the public for major renovations from Sept. 5, 2018, to May 4, 2019, museum director Laurie Stuart announced in a press release on Monday.

Stuart said the museum has put on hold indefinitely plans for a new building.

“The board decided that the most prudent thing to do in the current economic climate is to make the current building more suitable for the museum’s needs for the time being,” Stuart wrote in an Aug. 13 email. “We still have plans for a new building later down the road.”

An informational meeting to discuss details of the renovation is 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the museum. Topics discussed include the scope of renovations and the winter schedule.

The renovation will include ramps and lifts to address physical accessibility throughout the building, connect the marine gallery to the special exhibits gallery, and build a new collections department for better storage and stewardship of museum artifacts, the press release said. The remodel also will include upgrades to the building’s systems.

Funding for renovations comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Alaska and the Wynn Foundation.

At the July 28 Ritzy Garden Gala in celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary, Patrons of the Pratt Society presented the Pratt Museum with an additional $120,000 for accessibility renovations.

The museum’s final public event this year is 3-6 p.m. Sept. 2 for a rummage sale in the parking lot as staff clear out 50 years worth of odds and ends from storage.

An end-of-the season party follows from 6-7:30 p.m. with the quilt drawing, a final taste of anniversary cake and a tour of the museum before ramps and lifts are built.

Questions and ideas about the renovation can be discussed at the Aug. 22 meeting, or contact Stuart at director@prattmuseum or 907-435-3333. For more about the museum, visit

While the museum is closed until next spring, offices remain open and staff is available during regular business hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Museum staff will be working on a number of new programs and exhibits for its grand re-opening in May 2019.

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