Visitor Center, Main House & Interpretive Gallery
Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site
St. Louis, Missouri

At Whitehaven, the family home of Ulysses S. Grant’s wife Julia Dent Grant, Main Street developed and designed visitor experiences that explore the life of one of our nation’s most fascinating leaders. Grant’s career spanned a critical period in United States history, the Civil War and its aftermath, and his own struggles and successes, both personal and political, reflect the complexities of the times. Interpretation helps visitors appreciate the depth and complexity of Grant as a person, not simply a figurehead, featuring in-depth exhibits on Grant’s career, his home and family, and essential themes such as slavery and reconstruction. Multimedia interactives and a dramatic audiovisual program challenge guests’ preconceptions and engage them in considering connections between the past and present. Whitehaven itself, fully restored, is interpreted using innovative audio and video techniques rather than conventional exhibits or period furnishings, bringing the historic house alive in a dramatic and compelling manner.

Project Partners

Quinn Evans Architects
architecture, landscape architecture
Hillman & Carr
audiovisual and multimedia
Mystic Scenic Studios
exhibit fabrication


Main Street Design participated in the initial Value Analysis effort for our project back in 1999, and they’ve been working with us ever since. Throughout this long process their creativity, commitment and enthusiasm have been critical to the project’s success. Now they’re working to realize our vision for the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site – and ours.

Mike Ward
Former Superintendent
Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site