Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West Breaks Ground on Major Expansion

This week, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West broke ground to add nearly 12,000 square feet to the attraction most recently named the #1 Western Museum in the country.

The generous donation of $12 million from Louis “Buzz” Sands IV, a respected entrepreneur and owner of several car dealerships across the Valley, is a testament to the museum’s enduring impact. The 11,360-square-foot extension of the museum will be named the Louis Sands IV Center and include the construction of two entirely new galleries.

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of Western Spirit,” said Todd Bankofier, CEO and executive director of Western Spirit. “The expansion represents a significant leap forward in our ongoing mission to safeguard and celebrate the incredible legacy of the American West.”

The Scottsdale City Council unanimously approved the expansion of Western Spirit in September 2023. The project will be undertaken by the architectural firm Studio Ma, known globally for its innovative and sustainable designs. Collaborating with them is Core, a builder with a track record of delivering high-quality construction projects nationwide. Studio Ma and Core were both involved in constructing the original Western Spirit building, an award-winning LEED-certified building.

Since its inauguration in January 2015, Western Spirit, a Smithsonian Affiliate, has played an important role in preserving the rich history and cultural heritage of the American West, ensuring that the artistic treasures and illuminating stories of the region continue to inspire current and future generations.

For more behind this Frontdoor, visit scottsdalemuseumwest.org.

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.
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