The Neenah Historical Society is hosting a new, timely exhibit that two University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students were involved in developing.
The exhibition honors the recent 9/11 ten year anniversary as well as a Neenah native, George Edwin Bergstrom, who oversaw design and construction of the national defense nerve center. “The Pentagon and Architecture of George Edwin Bergstrom” will be at the historic Hiram Smith Octagon House in Neenah through Oct. 2.
Sept. 11 also marked the 70th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Pentagon.
UW Oshkosh student Kyle Moerchen, a junior history major, participated in the project by contributing to the research done on Bergstrom, he said.
“G. Edwin Bergstrom was born and raised in Neenah and went on to build a lot of important buildings…and eventually the Pentagon,” Moerchen said.
Bergstrom not only over saw the design of the Pentagon, but also oversaw its construction for the U.S. Army.
The exhibit tells the story of the Pentagon’s design and construction, which Peter Herr, a senior graphic communications and art education major at UW Oshkosh, was involved with designing. Herr designed the panels that make up the exhibition as well as the logo and marketing pieces for the exhibit.
Herr said the opportunity to work on the exhibition was a valuable opportunity for a student.
“It really broadens my experience and separates it from just doing class work. It takes the skills I’ve learned in class to do something professional,” Herr said. “Plus, it’s cool to see someone from our area do something so profound, so important to our country.”
The opportunity came to Herr through Shawn McAfee’s digital art class.
“When approached about finding a student intern who might be able to do the design for this exhibit, Peter Herr was the first student who came to my mind,” said McAfee, coordinator for the Instructional Resources Center and UW Oshkosh instructor. “Having been his instructor, I knew that he not only does good design work, but has a very strong work ethic. Peter’s creativity, talent and maturity made him the perfect choice to design this exhibit.”
The exhibit at the Hiram Smith Octagon House, 347 Smith St., Neenah, is open Thursday through Sunday until Oct. 2. On Thursdays and Fridays, the exhibit is open from noon until 8 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Sundays from noon until 4 p.m.
Herr said the exhibit should be visited not only because he worked so hard to make it become a reality, but also because: “There are many interesting things you’d never know until you go.”