Pritzker Military Archives

Saluting the sacrifice of servicemembers. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Preserving History

The Pritzker Military Archives will support the Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s mission of preserving the past, present and future of the citizen soldier. This state-of-the-art, museum-quality archival space will be used to restore, preserve, and provide storage for collections that include books, artifacts and other historic materials.

Furthering Education

The fully enclosed Midwest Firearms Education & Training Center (MFETC) allows researchers, law enforcement, the military (including National Guard and Reserve Units), and the public the opportunity to train, study and learn about the history of firearms and best practices. The MFETC will also serve as a safe environment where families can come and learn about proper firearm safety.

Fostering Community

It is our highest priority to create something of lasting value to share with our neighbors. Located on the highest point on the property, leaving wetlands undisturbed, the Pritzker Military Archives will preserve as much green space as possible, with ample paths and picnic areas to serve the public. Our Cold War Veterans Memorial promises to be a display that citizens can look to with pride, and we endeavor to always do more, continually offering programs and events that honor military history and serve the needs of our community.

Project News & Developments

COVID-19 Impact

Health and safety for everyone is our highest priority. We had planned to host a groundbreaking event in the spring for the Village of Somers community to come together and celebrate the upcoming project, but as COVID-19 (the novel Coronavirus) continues to impact our communities, we are putting our groundbreaking celebration on hold for now. Please know we are fully committed to continuing to move this project forward. From the beginning, a main pillar has been to develop a project that fosters community. During these challenging social and economic times, we feel this is more important than ever.

As we get through this difficult time, we look forward to celebrating the future with each and every one of you and will keep you updated regarding an event date. Please contact us with any questions or concerns using the form below or email us directly at

Project Approvals

The Pritzker Military Archive project received approvals for Comprehensive Land Use Plan Amendment and Re-Zoning by the Village of Somers at its’ Village Board meeting on November 12, 2019. We are looking forward to continue working with the community as the project progresses. 

Outdoor clay target range removed from the project

Per community feedback, we have eliminated the outdoor clay target range from the Pritzker Military Archives project.

Project planning applications filed

Applications for zoning, comprehensive plan use, and plan use amendment have been filed with the Village of Somers, following all village protocols.

Design Progress

During this early phase in design various spatial components may be adjusted in size or layout for feasibility or from other required modifications to adjacent space programming.

Gallery adjusted to approximately 10,000 square feet.

Updates From the Village

Contrary to what we previously reported, the approval process for the PMA project will not be a two-step process, but rather completed in one-step. The facts as we know now, are as follows: 

  • The Developer’s Agreement will not be finalized before the 11.12.19 Village Board meeting approving the PMA project.
  • Following the public meeting on 9.16.19 , the Village had informed the PMA team that the project approval with the Village Board was a two-step process. The first step would be getting approval from the Board at the 11.12.19 meeting for the project. The second step would be presenting the proposed Developer’s Agreement execution copy at a Village Board Meeting scheduled for some time thereafter.
  • However, on 10.28.19 the Village attorney, Jeff Davidson, stated the second step is no longer necessary. In order to ensure that the outdoor clays course will not be on the site, the Village will present the Board with a motion to include, among other items, that the Developer’s Agreement will specifically state there will be no outdoor sporting clays on the site.

Agents of the Village previously informed us that Tax Increment District (TID) #6 was drawn to include only the land that would be part of our project and that we would be the only landowners in TID #6. However, on 10.28.19, in a conversation with the Village Attorney and Administration, the PMA Team was told for the first time that the information previously given to us was not accurate. There are, in fact, parcels of land in TID #6 that will not be part of our project or owned by us. Village Administration has informed us that parcels of land to the South of our project are also part of TID #6. 

Next Steps

Infrastructure construction is tentatively expected to begin late September 2020.
Pre-construction activities on the site are tentatively expected to begin late Winter or early Spring 2020.

Pritzker Military Archives

This space will be a state-of-the-art center to further the mission of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, through restoration, preservation, and storage of its collection. It will feature a 10,000 square foot Gallery Center for public viewing, offering the local community the opportunity to immerse themselves in history. This new archive facility is necessary due to the overwhelming support of donors and families eager to protect their family’s legacy and stories. Along with the archival space, workspace for the Pritzker Military Museum & Library staff will be included for continued curation of the military collection for future exhibits.

military gallery

Commercial Archives

Quality commercial archive space is difficult to find in the Midwest, which is why our proposed development will include storage space where private collectors, businesses, museums, libraries, and similar institutions can store their archives. The Commercial Archives is envisioned as a high-tech, highly-secured, state-of-the-art facility that will adhere to best practices in conservation, housing archives and collections of all types. Keeping history alive and having a museum-quality space to do so is an important public benefit.

Commercial archives storage facility

Midwest Firearms Education & Training Center

Safety, awareness, education and training are leading principles at the MFETC. Education and training in a safe, non-intimidating environment by top-rated certified instructors will be a hallmark of the facility. The MFETC will allow researchers and others the opportunity to test historical replicas and modern firearms to better understand the experiences of the citizen soldier. The facility will be built underground, making it fully enclosed. The air filtration system will be above EPA standard guidelines.

cold war memorial

Cold War Veterans Memorial

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library honors veterans and aims to increase the public understanding of military history. It has a considered interest to honor the men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces from 1945 through 1991. Our Cold War Veterans Memorial will stand in dedication to the servicemembers who fought so courageously during this time in our country’s history. The Memorial will be a publicly-accessible display where citizens can honor, reflect and learn about the bravery and sacrifice displayed to further the freedom that our country enjoys.

Pritzker Military Archives Green Space

Community Green Space

A place of reflection requires space and thoughtful design, which is why establishing community green space is of such importance to our plan. The space surrounding our structures will be expertly landscaped, with walking and biking paths, and picnic areas. Our gallery space, at approximately 10,000 square feet, will display exhibits drawing from and utilizing the collections within the Archives and of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. All will be publicly accessible during business hours. The community space will adhere to best practices in conservation, preserving as much green space as possible by using less than 7% of the entire site for the buildings. Our project will use energy efficient practices. Solar panels and rainwater collection/re-use in the facilities, and the Wetlands will remain undisturbed.

A Benefactor to Future Generations

The Pritzker Military Archives has as its mission to preserve, further and foster the education of military’s essential role in our democracy. The Archives will be a destination that our neighbors in Wisconsin can be proud of, one that promotes positive relationships with institutions in and around the community, opening new avenues of education. The positive impact of its arrival hopes to open the door to further, thoughtful developments in the area.

Acres on the Tax Rolls
Acres of Anticipated
Tax Exemption
80 %

About Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Established under the direction of Colonel Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), the mission of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library is to acquire and maintain an accessible collection of materials and to develop appropriate programs focusing on the citizen soldier in the preservation of democracy.

In a democratic society, it is important for people of all viewpoints to have an open, public forum to discuss the past, present, and future of the military. Through its collection and its programs, the Museum & Library is dedicated to serving as a forum for those discussions and preserving them for future generations. Since opening in 2003 in Chicago, the Museum & Library has hosted more than 500 events featuring the country’s most acclaimed authors, historians, journalists, and scholars.


We want to hear from you.

The Pritzker Military Archives cares about the greater community and values its input.
Please take the opportunity to let us know your questions, hopes, and concerns for the project.