We’ve got plaque! Not on our teeth, silly, but on our walls! In 1998, The McMahon Foundation funded an expansion of the Museum of the Great Plains that created a new main gallery, today’s “E P McMahon Exhibition Hall.” In 2012, The Foundation served as the lead donor to obtain a large grant that renovated the entire exhibit space in the main hall, creating what is now known as the “Donald W Reynolds Great Plains Discovery Center” at the museum, which debuted in November 2015.
In 2003, The McMahon Foundation paid for the renovation of what was once a temporary gallery in the old, original part of the building, which then became a meeting area and rental space at the museum, today’s “Louise D McMahon Hall.” After more than a decade of wear and tear—while serving as a much-needed revenue stream for the museum—The Foundation once again underwrote a renovation of the hall in 2017.
During the Louise D McMahon Hall renovation, we asked The McMahon Foundation to provide wording for plaques to be placed at the entrances to these areas. Visitors see “E P McMahon Exhibition Hall” and “Louise D McMahon Hall,” but many, most, probably don’t know the significance of those names, or the relation of The McMahon Foundation to the museum. So, we hope the plaques will provide our visitors with even more information about the Museum of the Great Plains, The McMahon Foundation, and Lawton, Oklahoma.
The Museum of the Great Plains routinely benefits from many other donations as well. For example, the Terry K Bell Charitable Trust, in 2014, paid for a complete remodel of the museum’s foyer and store, and remodeled a former classroom as the “Terry K Bell Gallery.” In September 2017, noticing a patio area adjoining Louise D McMahon Hall looked a little rough, George and Tresea Moses made a gift to the museum to renovate that space. It’s a popular stop for guests who visit the outdoor exhibits, and now the patio looks better than ever.
As always, we remind everyone of the importance of the City of Lawton to the continuing existence and well-being of the Museum of the Great Plains. Since 1961, the City of Lawton and The McMahon Foundation have, together, played vital roles in the maintenance and improvement of one of Lawton and Southwest Oklahoma’s chief educational and entertainment venues. Thank you, City of Lawton!
From time to time, we'll post info here about what's going-on at the museum.