Science Museum Oklahoma History at a Glance
1958: The Kirkpatrick Planetarium was created with a donation from the Junior League of Oklahoma City.
1962: The John E. Kirkpatrick family provided a permanent dome structure for the popular planetarium at the State Fairgrounds.
1962: Science Museum Oklahoma was founded as the Oklahoma Science and Arts Foundation on the fairgrounds.
1978: The Kirkpatrick Center museum complex opened at 2100 NE 52nd Street in Oklahoma City. The foundation, after changing its name to Omniplex Science Museum, became the building's first tenant. Kirkpatrick Planetarium reopened in the center a few months later.
1980: The Oklahoma Air and Space Museum (now part of Science Museum Oklahoma) becomes a new addition in Kirkpatrick Center.
1985: John Kirkpatrick envisions?an outdoor sanctuary and gardeners' learning center and opens the Kirkpatrick Gardens and Greenhouse, adjacent to the south side of the building.
1996: Kirkpatrick Center, the Oklahoma Air and Space Museum and Science Museum Oklahoma merge to create a new organizations - Kirkpatrick Science and Air Space Museum at Omniplex.
1998: Science Museum Oklahoma begins construction on the Dome Theater, the state's first large-format, dome-screen theater.
2000: Science Museum Oklahoma makes Oklahoma history by opening the first large-format, dome-screen theater to sell-out audiences.
2003 Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit sets museum attendance records, with over 217,000 visitors to the exhibit during its seven-month run. science museum of national prominence.
Our Founder: John Elson Kirkpatrick
1908 - 2006
Admiral John Kirkpatrick was born in Oklahoma City in February 1908 and graduated from the Oklahoma City Public Schools before attending West Point, Marion Institute and, in 1931, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1932, Kirkpatrick married Eleanor Blake of Mangum. During World War II, Kirkpatrick served 54 months at sea as a gunnery officer aboard the USS North Carolina and later served on the USS Alaska and the USS Oklahoma City. After the war, Kirkpatrick entered the oil business and in 1950 founded the Kirkpatrick Oil Company.
Prominent civic leaders in Oklahoma City since the 1940s, the Kirkpatricks have given much to the communities and state of Oklahoma through their generosity and philanthropy, including multiple arts and education organizations. Their works are continued today through the Kirkpatrick Foundation.
Science Museum Oklahoma was made possible largely through the support and generosity of the Kirkpatrick family.