Photo Credit: David Remley Photography
Photo Credit: David Remley Photography

The Kansas City Museum has started construction on an extensive restoration and renovation of the entire property (including five original, existing buildings and grounds). The goal is to transform the former private residence and estate, built in 1910, into a fully functioning and sustainable leading-edge, 21st-century museum of Kansas City’s history and cultural heritage, complete with space for exhibitions, programs, amenities, and back-of-house museum functions.

The renovation project will be completed in several phases of architectural design and stages of construction with Stage I, the restoration and renovation of Corinthian Hall (details below) already underway.

Below is a timeline of past renovations as well as information on architectural design planning under the leadership of the Parks and Recreation Department, which took over the operations and management of the Kansas City Museum in 2014.

2005 to 2012: Exterior Restoration, Infrastructure & Planning
In 2005, the Kansas City Museum began a site-wide historic restoration and renovation process (all buildings and grounds) led by International Architects Atelier (IAA), a local architecture studio committed to design excellence through exploration, experimentation, and innovation. From 2005 to 2012, the following was completed with public funding:

  • roof restoration and exterior masonry repair to Corinthian Hall;
  • demolition of non-original construction;
  • restoration of major art glass in Corinthian Hall;
  • window and door replacement in Corinthian Hall and the Carriage House to energy efficient and UV protection glass;
  • installation of HVAC system for Corinthian Hall and the Carriage House;
  • new elevator in Corinthian Hall; and
  • an interpretive plan (2010) with proposed thematic approaches and site-use projections.

May 2014: Management by the Parks and Recreation Department
In May 2014, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation Department began to operate and manage the Kansas City Museum. The Museum has been owned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri since 1948.

From May 2014 through early 2015, priority was given to reviewing and assessing all previous institutional and renovation planning documents.Kansas City Museum Site Plan

February 2015: Condition Assessment & Treatment Plan
In February 2015, STRATA Architecture + Preservation completed an interior assessment and treatment plan for the first floor of Corinthian Hall (the mansion). This plan was created to serve as a road map for future historic restoration and renovation of the first floor spaces of Corinthian Hall. The plan was funded in part by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

April 2015 to August 2016: Architectural Design & Master Planning
In April 2015, the Parks Department hired International Architects Atelier (IAA) to provide professional design services for the Kansas City Museum. Design is being completed in phases. For a list of IAA’s design consultants on their project team, please click IAA’s Consultant List.

For Phase One Design, the Discovery Phase, IAA and their project team researched and reviewed previous planning documents, and investigated and documented the existing physical conditions of the museum complex (five original, existing buildings, and grounds). As a result, the following were prepared:  a conditions survey, utility needs and assessment report, site survey, geotechnical report, environment assessment report, exterior way-finding signage, and community outreach.

For Phase Two Design, Master Planning, IAA and their project team explored the educational and interpretive programming and space needs of the museum complex. The Kansas City Museum is being designed to transform the private residence and estate into a regional attraction and a nationally recognized history museum, complete with necessary form and functionality for first-rate exhibitions, programs, collections facilities, and amenities.

Moreover, the Kansas City Museum will be the City’s official “residence,” serving as the home to Kansas City’s history and accommodating official, signature events and gatherings.

As part of Phase Two Design, Master Planning, IAA prepared a Space Planning Report that provides the following:  the phases of design and stages of construction, preliminary floor plans, select architectural renderings, accessibility reviews, the cost estimates associated with each phase of design and stage of construction, and community outreach.

August 2016 to Present: Architectural Design Development and Construction Documents
On August 23, 2016, the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners approved design work completed thus far in Phase One Design and Phase Two Design, and approved IAA to begin Phase Three Design. For Phase Three Design, IAA prepared construction and bid documents for Stage I Construction, which began in November 2017.

In January 2017, JE Dunn Construction Co. (JE Dunn) was hired by the Parks Department as the Construction Manager At-Risk for Stage I. JE Dunn began by providing pre-construction services and working with IAA and their project team as they prepared construction documents for Corinthian Hall. Construction on Stage I began in November 2017. Their work will extend through December 2019.

Blaesing Jeff“Our JE Dunn team JE Dunn Logo_PMS 288could not be more excited to be part of the re-creation of Corinthian Hall and the transformation of this Kansas City landmark. Our working meetings with The City of Kansas City, Missouri, the Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department, International Architects Atelier, and the Kansas City Museum staff have been incredible to date, and we can’t wait to finalize design and get to work.”

– Jeff Blaesing, Project Executive

The Space Planning Report, developed in Phase Two Design, projects several stages of construction, beginning in 2017 and proceeding beyond 2025. Each stage of construction will be preceded by a phase of architectural design. Additionally, each stage of construction will incrementally increase and improve exhibitions, collections, and program spaces as well as amenities, and each stage will open to the public a new face of the Museum upon its completion.

Stage I includes the restoration and renovation of the lower level, first floor, second floor, and third floor of Corinthian Hall (the mansion) to be completed and open to the public in 2020.

  • The lower level of Corinthian Hall will include an architecturally restored billiards room, a new interpretation of the museum’s former, beloved “soda fountain,” public restrooms, kitchen facilities, and spaces for administrative functions.
  • The first floor of Corinthian Hall will include architecturally preserved, restored, recreated, and rehabilitated rooms that will be used for programs, events, interpretive history exhibits, and contemporary thematic art installations. The first floor will also have a Museum Store, and a Museum Café and Demonstration Kitchen.
  • The second floor of Corinthian Hall will include renovated exhibit galleries that showcase historical materials from the Museum’s permanent collection, and a meeting room/education space for community use and board meetings.
  • The third floor of Corinthian Hall will include renovated exhibit galleries, a theater/auditorium, and an interactive space for recording and sharing stories.

Stage II includes the restoration and renovation of the Carriage House to be completed and open to the public by 2022.

Stage III includes the restoration and renovation of the other existing, original buildings (Conservatory, Gate House, and Gardener’s Tool Shed), perimeter fence and gates, and the grounds to be completed and open to the public in 2024.

Below are floor plans for Stage I.

2016_1129 Boards_2ndand3rd