National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
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New Building Features

New 50,000-square-foot Museum and Library features:

1. A 5,400-square-foot library and archives also encompassing genealogy services, oral histories, and research.
2. Multi-purpose public and educational programming space that hold 300 for programs and 240 at tables.
3. Three galleries for permanent and temporary/ traveling exhibitions.
4. A 51-seat handicapped-accessible theater for films, lectures, and programs.
5. Outdoor amphitheater for heritage, musical, and theatrical programs.
6. Collections, original artwork and artifacts on display throughout the building.
7. Protection from future flooding; the museum will be elevated three feet above the 2008 flood level.
8. A terrace with view of the river and downtown skyline.
9. Underground parking for 65 vehicles.
10. LEED certified energy efficient design.

In the near future: A permanent, multi-sensory exhibition doubled in size, covering the dramatic immigration story of Czech- and Slovak-Americans. (Following the closing of "Alphonse Mucha: Inspirations of Art Nouveau" Dec. 31, 2012.)

Going Green

  • The new facility will boast a LEED certified energy efficient design. The LEED green building certification program encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.
  • Geothermal heating and other energy initiatives will result in a savings of up to 50 percent annually over base Iowa Energy Code. 
  • Other energy initiatives include solar thermal domestic hot water; LED lighting in exhibits, garage, and on the exterior site; increased wall and roof insulation; dual level switching, occupancy sensors, premium ballasts in light fixtures, advanced lighting controls, and daylighting controls; CO2 controls with variable frequency drives; and total heat recovery.
  • The NCSML received a grant from the Iowa ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) State Energy Program to help fund these energy initiatives.


  • Multi-sensory permanent exhibition with captivating stories, original artifacts and hands-on exploration
  • Cohesive and well-planned campus
  • Changing exhibits featuring a broad range of historical and contemporary subjects that create opportunities for visitors to connect and explore
  • Educational programming for all ages
  • We will inspire people from every background to connect to Czech and Slovak culture as a way for them to better understand their world and themselves.
  • We are focused on National Mission Delivery (great website, oral history project, traveling exhibitions, work with other C/S orgs)
  • We provide visitors with an inspiring, participatory experience
  • We address important issues facing society (freedom, identity, immigration)
  • Important stories are being lost – it is our mission to preserve them for the future
  • Museums are an important way to educate and inspire people; museums are catalysts for social change
  • Not just a recovery, but a renaissance
  • No other U.S. institution is better positioned to carry this work forward
  • By better understanding others, visitors will better understand themselves.
  • Visitors will be inspired to question: Who Am I? Where did I come from? What makes me unique? What do I stand for?
  • We are the leading educational resource in the U.S. on the history and culture of the Czechs and Slovaks
  • We engage diverse audiences