The bad news is that the Military Museum of Fort Worth closed on Aug. 31 in the Stockyards.
The good news is that the small museum with hundreds of artifacts will reopen on Nov. 11 at Ridgmar Mall.
That means Tyler Alberts and the museum crew have just over 60 days with a budget of about $50,000 to move the displays, exhibits, uniforms and artifacts.
“Oh, we will be open for Veterans Day,” said Alberts, the executive director of the 12-year-old museum, which started on Dorothy Lane near Camp Bowie Boulevard.
Alberts talked like a general complete with battle plans for the move and strategies for the museum’s new 11,000-square-foot home at Ridgmar Mall, 1888 Green Oaks Road.
It’s a whole different world compared to the museum’s 1,100-square-foot location on Dorothy Lane, which Alberts called a “starter kit” museum.
“When we left Dorothy, we still put quite a few items in storage,” Alberts said.
The Stockyards location where the museum moved in 2017 had 4,200 square feet of room for exhibits and tourists.
At the Stockyards, the little museum was able to show off such exhibits as a World War I trench and a room from a World War II farmhouse where soldiers established a command center.
The Stockyards location gave the Military Museum of Fort Worth a boost for several years.
But an increase in rental costs in the Stockyards this year forced Alberts and the museum to search for a new home.
Ridgmar Mall is excited to have the Military Museum, mall general manager Colby Welanetz said in an email. “Ridgmar is always looking for new and unique uses to round out the tenant mix,” Welanetz said. “A great example of this would be SeaQuest and the Military Museum fits in nicely with that plan.”
The museum with its more than 15,000 displays and artifacts will be located in the northwest section of the mall.
Admission will be $5 for adults, and those in the military and children 12 and younger will get in free.
The museum includes items from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.
Volunteer Charlie Porter of Fort Worth has been helping the museum since 2017.
“This place just blows me away,” Porter said Wednesday as he joined other volunteers to move artifacts. “It’s a great way to honor those who fought and died for our country.”
Museum officials still plan to have artifacts in a “mobile museum” format, meaning members will set up displays at places such as libraries, retirement centers and convention centers.
“One of the things that is really different than a lot of museums is that everything here is tied to someone,” Alberts said. “We’ve just got a lot of really rare and interesting stories that are tied to people, and not just history.”
Donations can be made to the museum online at militarymuseumfortworth.org
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