TULSA, Okla. – The Cherokee Heritage Center museum store opens Memorial Day weekend with a new look. The store, which serves as the main entrance to the museum, underwent a $90,000 renovation in August to create a gallery-like display for Cherokee art and artifacts available for purchase. The renovation is part of a two-phase construction and redesign project for the Cherokee Heritage Center, located in Tahlequah.
“Part of what we do here at Cherokee Nation Enterprises is help restore and revive our Cherokee history and culture, which is prominently put on display at each of our Cherokee Casino locations,” said David Stewart, CEO of Cherokee Nation Enterprises, which operates Cherokee Casinos and multiple other retail businesses. “We have many other businesses and departments that work outside of the casino, helping to promote the Cherokee Nation and its culture. The heritage center is a longtime example, and we were happy to be a part of the redesign.”
The project was a design of Resource Design out of Rogers, Ark.
“The heritage center is a place of history, education and cultural pride for an entire nation. The goal of the redesign of the heritage center’s museum store was to allow the culture of the Cherokee Nation to be displayed through their art, literature and hand-crafted keepsakes while creating a fluid transition to the heritage museum.
“This contemporary and fluid environment is created with the use of custom fixtures, etchings and other subtle visuals throughout the facility, offering visitors insight into the Cherokee history and culture,” said David Hook, senior designer of Resource Design.
The heritage center is governed by the Cherokee National Historical Society Inc., a nonprofit organization, and is operated with significant support from the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Enterprises. It has served as a national historical and cultural preservation site for the Cherokee Nation since its living village opened in 1967, followed by the museum and gift shop in 1974.
The concept of this redesign was to create better continuity between the retail space and the heritage museum, while still capturing the essence of Cherokee culture as with the original design of the structure.
Phase two of the heritage center construction and redesign plan will include a new parking lot and aesthetic renovations to the atrium and restrooms.
For more information about the Cherokee Heritage Center, visit www.cherokeeheritage.org or www.cherokeetourismok.com, or call (888) 999-6007.