Witte Museum to get $60M upgrade

Expansion will add 65,000 square feet

SAN ANTONIO – Big changes are coming to the Witte Museum.

As of Tuesday, the front entrance on Broadway will be closed for a two-year period while the museum undergoes a major transformation.

Instead, visitors will have to enter through the river entrance on Tuleta Avenue.

The latest phase of the $60 million construction project will give the museum a new look. 

Witte Museum President & CEO Marise McDermott believes the metamorphosis will lift the museum to grand status.

"We'll be getting the greatest exhibitions that any city in the U.S. or the world will have," she said. "We can have (those) here at the Witte Museum, so it definitely is about time we renovate and modernize the main building."

The expansion will add 65,000 square feet to the Witte campus.

During the construction phase, classic exhibits like Texas Wild, the Fiesta Exhibit and Ancient Texans will be closed as they're revamped. They'll reopen with a new look in the future, which will also include dinosaurs. 

"For the first time in the history of the Witte Museum, we'll have a dinosaur gallery, so even though we have a teeny dinosaur gallery now, we'll have a major dinosaur gallery when we reopen in two years," McDermott said.

When renovations are complete, the facade of the museum will look very different.  It'll be reminiscent of what the museum looked like when it first opened in 1926, with big stone arches.

"The new Witte will have a major new entrance that will rival any major museum in the United States," she said. "We'll look -ike a top-tier museum."

The majority of the Witte campus will remain open during construction.

HEB Body Adventure, Grossology, the South Texas Heritage Center and the Auditoriums won't be affected by construction.