Little Fort Worth military museum heads to historic Stockyards

APRIL 10, 2017

FORT WORTH - This time two months ago, Tyler Alberts was sad and disappointed because the Military Museum of Fort Worth was scheduled to close.

Today, the museum’s executive director is ecstatic and energetic.

The Military Museum of Fort Worth, which is moving into temporary quarters in the Fort Worth Stockyards, features more than 15,000 displays and artifacts.

A surge of support last month flooded the little museum in a west side neighborhood and helped rescue it from closing.

Now, Alberts has announced that the eight-year-old museum is moving to a temporary home in the historic Stockyards.

“It’s a new temporary space while funds are raised to occupy a large facility to house our library, offices, exhibits and vehicles,” Alberts said in a Facebook post.

Alberts said the museum will be in its new home, at 2501 Rodeo Plaza, for 18 months.

The Dorothy Street location is scheduled to close Saturday, but Alberts and the museum staff have planned a grand opening May 29 at the Stockyards location, just west of the Cowtown Coliseum.

“It will be open just in time for the Memorial Day weekend,” Alberts said Monday in a telephone interview. Alberts is the director of the Organization for Texas Military Education, which operates the museum.

He said the move comes from the generosity of Mike Constanza and the Exhibit Building Partnership.

Last month, Roll Call — an organization that benefits and honors veterans and those killed in action — offered a plan to keep the museum open for six more months “while working on a permanent alliance,” according to a March news release.

Roll Call’s funding includes a donation from the Carl E. Kessler Foundation, named for its founder, a World War II pilot.

Just a few years ago, more than 3,000 visitors in a year viewed artifacts and displays at the the museum. Last year, only about 1,000 visitors came.

The drop in attendance and lack of funding were the reasons the small museum at 712 Dorothy Lane — with more than 15,000 displays and artifacts — was set to close March 11.

But the swell of support and backing from local leaders has given the museum new life.

The museum opened in July 2009 and includes items from World War I and World II, as well as the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf wars.

With hundreds of artifacts at the small location, Alberts said, volunteers would rotate displays every five months, closing for 30 days each time to make the transition.

Alberts said members of the organization were mostly historians and veterans with middle-class incomes and a passion for military history.

This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.


Military Museum finds a new - temporary - home

Fort Worth Busines Press Staff  - Updated

The Military Museum of Fort Worth has found a new home – at least for now.

The museum is headed to the Fort Worth Stockyards, courtesy of Mike Constanza and the Exhibit Building Partnership.

On the museum’s Facebook page, the group announced: “The Museum is moving to the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards in a new temporary space while funds are raised to occupy a larger facility to house our library, offices, exhibits, and vehicles.”

The current location on Dorothy Street will close April 15 with the museum re-opening on Memorial Day weekend in the Stockyards space at 2501 Rodeo Plaza.

 “It’s hard to believe that 30 days ago or so, we were closing,” said Tyler Alberts, executive director of the museum. After the museum announced it was closing in March, it received an outpouring of support from Roll Call, an organization founded by Kevin Boldt that acknowledges the military's service and preserves its legacy, along with a donation from the Carl E. Kessler Foundation. www.facebook.com/militarymuseumoffortworth/

Please help support the preservation of our military heritage. Every donation helps keep these memories alive. Give today!