Putnam Museum

Master Plan


The Putnam, like all collecting museums with long community histories, is seeking to reinvent itself in the light of dramatically shifting demographics, economics and social priorities. Roto’s master plan sets out an exciting future course based on maximizing existing assets and highly efficient new capital funding.


  • Redesigned entry rather than expensive relocation
  • New two-story exhibit space with no new construction
  • Seven major new exhibit and program initiatives
  • One single overarching framework tied to mission
  • Renewal of the purpose and importance of collections
Putnam Spread 1

Roto began planning work around the question of relocation, a proposition far too expensive for the Quad Cities circa 2016. Instead, Roto redeveloped the existing constellation of buildings and additions, moving the front door, adding a group entry, simplifying wayfinding, maximizing unused space, and creating a brilliant new central gallery.

Putnam Museum Master Plan by Roto

New experiences give new life to old collections, with cutting edge experiences like a maker lab, visible storage, interactive science exhibits, and dramatic cultural displays tied together under a compelling central thesis.

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