With the dream of showcasing its collection and providing hands-on activities and experiential learning to the public, NCHGS commissioned Spillman Farmer Architects to adaptively reuse an existing building and help make history come alive. The design team worked from the inside out, re-creating the floorplan as a shotgun-style volume with zones of flexible programming space divided by a strategically placed central utility core. The first floor of the building was cut away to create a light-filled lower level that expands exhibit space and creates a dramatic main gallery. The second floor includes additional permanent and alternating exhibit space as well as a community room. The third floor houses NCHGS’s library and archives, dedicated research room, and administrative offices.