The Red House Interpretive Center, under construction from 2002-2004, is a cooperative effort of the Cape Girardeau Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission and the City of Cape Girardeau. The project was funded in part through grants from the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission. Over 200 individuals, businesses, and civic clubs donated money, labor, and materials to complete the project.
Integrating the architectural style of the French colonial era in the Mississippi Valley with modern climate control, lighting, and state-of-the-art exhibits, The Red House Interpretive Center demonstrates life-ways of Native Americans, French colonists, African Americans and early American settlers in the Illinois country and southeast Missouri.
Historic events such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition provide topic for interpretation. Other topics include the role of the Mississippi River, other regional streams, ad early roads and trails. They served as arteries for the import of necessary goods and the export of agricultural products, as well as for personal transportation.
To the rear of the property the mural on the flood wall depicts the Mississippi River as it may have appeared around 1800. A period garden north of the center features herbs, vegetables, flowers, and native plants. To the south a grape arbor provides a shaded area for interpretive activities and gatherings.