The Kansas City Museum is a recovered gem investing back in the community


Photo by David Remley

Kansas City is bursting at the seams with history and unique gems waiting to be explored. 

Built within Corinthian Hall—the lavish home of the timber industrialist Long family—the Kansas City Museum became a nature and science museum in the 1940s.

After several decades and millions of dollars in renovations, the museum is open to the public, making it one of the best free attractions in the city. 

The museum is currently in phase one of a multi-step expansion plan. With the help of public and private donations, they plan on adding the James Turrell Skyspace, where you can view the sky as if it were a framed piece of art.

The Jewel House collaborates with the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art to display local art and renovate the Conservatory. And, finally, the Carriage House will function as an exhibit honoring famous horse jockey, Loula Long. 

Every floor of the museum showcases a different facet of KC. The first floor is dedicated to the Long family and recreates the house in its original state with fill-in contemporary design. The second floor showcases the history of the metro, including the Native American exhibit, a walkthrough of slavery and segregation, and modern day events. 

In addition to exhibits, there is an array of activities for the community to enjoy. The basement consists of a game room as well as a café and bar. They frequently host the Strawberry Swing art and food market on the property as well. They’ve recently partnered with local radio station 90.9 the Bridge to host live music events for the public.


Photo by David Remley

Once home to white aristocrats, the Kansas City Museum now showcases diversity and culture. The third floor best represents this, with one exhibit offering the stories of Kansas City residents. It will soon be interactive, allowing visitors to share their own stories.

Another exhibit focuses on demographics and influential people. It will rotate once a year to highlight new places and work directly with UMKC to select each neighborhoods. Visitor interested in getting their community displayed can reach out to UMKC.

A gift shop on the first floor sells art made by community members, while art installations can be found throughout including two recent additions by Renee Cinderhouse (Storage Room 308) and Michel Mirabal (The History Behind the Sheets). Other artists include Stephen Proski, Marv Graff, and Zachary Laman. 

History is not always about the famous and the powerful. It is a collaboration of the folks who make up our communities. 

Categories: Culture