The Richard Nixon Presidential Library
and Museum

Yorba Linda, California

Project Size: 16,000 square feet
DesignersThinkwell Group

Presidential Reflection

A substantial renovation which included modernization and upgrades to the museum that offers a fresh look at President Nixon’s life, accomplishments and legacy which originally opened in 1990. Comprised of updated technology, screen-based and audio interactives, and engaging learning opportunities and spanning 52,000 square-feet; the recent redesign of the galleries includes 70 new exhibits, completing an undertaking that started more than a decade ago to bring greater legitimacy and intellectual honesty to Nixon’s story. It is the home of 8,000 square-feet of wall murals, more than 600 photographs and 300 original artifacts, 30 unique multimedia experiences, 12 custom digital interactives, and 10 curated archival film sequences.

Visitors not only learn about historical subjects such as the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and Watergate but also lesser known facts about President Nixon, like a legacy of environmental preservation that includes the creation of the EPA. Each exhibit provides an abundance of information on President Nixon, presenting it in an interactive and creative manner.

10 Exhibit Galleries in 10 Months

kubik maltbie’s role during the ten month process included working with the exhibition designer, Thinkwell Group, throughout the design phases, providing ongoing budgets, case engineering details and scheduling information. This phase was followed by fabrication and a complete retrofit, and installation of ten exhibit galleries. The greatest challenge on this project was the duplication of the Nixon-era Oval Office without the benefit of architectural drawings or substantial documentation. Moldings, door frames, ceilings, lighting and furnishings identical to the Nixon era Oval Office were carefully and accurately reproduced from historical photography, documentation and interviews with the White House conservator and curator. Built in our New Jersey shop, it was disassembled and shipped to Yorba Linda for reassembly. The scope of work also included installing, forty showcases, artifact mounting and coordination with the audio-visual subcontractor, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the base building contractor as well as local seismic engineers. Also included were eight interactive stations which were prototyped and developed in-house.

“Regardless of the task – estimating, value engineering, shop drawing, fabricating, or installing – the team was accessible, fair, knowledgeable, and dedicated to excellent results. We look forward to working with them again.”

Ken Viste, Project Manager

Thinkwell Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

“It was a real collaboration. Maltbie listened to us and always did what was in the best interest of our visitors’ experience.”

Becky Menlove

director of exhibits and public programs, Natural History Museum of Utah