Construction Begins On New Palmer
Center For History
January 29, 2007
As work progresses on the Arnold Palmer Center for Golf
History, we will continue to post construction updates and
photographs here at www.usga.org. We invite you to check back
By Rand Jerris, USGA
Far Hills, N.J. - After two years of planning and
preparations, construction of the Arnold Palmer Center for Golf
History commenced in late December.
|Construction has begun on the new Arnold
Palmer Center for History at Golf House. (John
The USGA's campus in the rolling foothills of
north-central New Jersey is generally a tranquil place. It's
been said, albeit tongue-in-cheek, that deer outnumber people. It
is often the case that the loudest noises to be heard come from
the flocks of migrating Canada geese.
Within the last two weeks, however, the usually placid
landscape has been transformed into a construction site. Work
crews under the leadership of The Gale Construction Company of
Roseland, N.J., are now actively at work on the east side of
campus, clearing the site for the Arnold Palmer Center for Golf
When construction is completed in the spring of 2008, the
Palmer Center will stand beside Golf House, providing a new home
for the USGA Museum and Archives and its world-class collections
of historical golf memorabilia.
Designed by Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects of Princeton,
N.J., the 16,000-square-foot Palmer Center will comprise more
than 5,000 square feet of public exhibition galleries, a new
research room to facilitate access to the collections, and
state-of-the-art storage areas that will provide the proper
climate and security for the long-term care of historical
In addition to the new construction, FMG's architects will
oversee the restoration of the original museum building built in
1919 by noted American architect John Russell Pope and commonly
known as Golf House.
The team from FMG has been working closely with members of the
museum's staff since December 2004 to design a building that
will satisfy the particular requirements of the museum and its
collections. Their efforts have been well-supported by the large
team of consultants brought together to complete the project. In
all, more than 100 individuals spent the better part of two years
designing the new facility.
|Heavy machinery has invaded the tranquil
setting of Golf House in Far Hills, N.J. (John
Just as the team was wrapping up its work on the design in the
late fall, two important pieces were added to the puzzle: Gale
Construction, a local area construction company, and 1220
Exhibits of Nashville, Tenn. The latter company will be
responsible for building the exhibits that will be installed in
the new exhibition galleries. With the key players now in place,
the project transitioned from the design phase to the
construction phase just about four weeks ago.
The first signs of impending activity on campus appeared in
late December, when Gale's construction trailer appeared and
a 6-foot high chain link fence was erected around the work site.
Heavy equipment was delivered in early January, and soon
thereafter the dirt began to fly.
In the first few days of construction, several outlying
structures, retaining wall and the former service yard were
bulldozed. Trees that stood where the Palmer Center will soon
stand were either relocated or taken down. An old stone plaza
that was once erected over the garage was dismantled.
This week, work crews will begin excavations for the lower
level of the Palmer Center, digging deeper pits for the concrete
footings that will support the gallery walls.
Fortunately for the construction effort, the early weeks of
winter have been mild throughout the northeast. If the weather
continues to hold, the steel framework that will support the new
building from foundation to roofline will begin to rise in
Dr. Rand Jerris is the director of the USGA Museum and
Archives, the oldest museum in the nation dedicated to sports.
Please email him with comments or questions at