Kansas City Museum

The Kansas City Museum is a museum located in Kansas City, Missouri, United States. Housed in a historic 1910 Beaux-Arts style mansion and private estate of lumber baron and civic leader Robert A. Long, the Kansas City Museum became a public museum in 1940. Seventy-five years later, the Museum is under extensive renovation.[2]

R. A. Long House
The Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall
Location3218 Gladstone Blvd.,
Kansas City, Missouri
Coordinates39.1158°N 94.54241°W / 39.1158; -94.54241
ArchitectHenry Ford Hoit
Architectural styleBeaux Arts
NRHP reference #80002366[1]
Added to NRHPNovember 14, 1980


The 3-acre (12,000 m2) estate consists of Corinthian Hall, named for its Corinthian columns and its outbuildings. Built for Robert A. Long and his family, this private residence was completed in 1910 for an estimated $1 million. It was designed by local architect Henry F. Hoit . Corinthian Hall, the four-story mansion features 35,000-square-foot (3,300 m2) (24,292-square-foot (2,256.8 m2) of livable space)[3] and served as the residence for the Long family until R.A. Long's death in 1934.[4] Daughters Sally and Loula removed decorative items and architectural features from Corinthian Hall (the mansion) for installation in their own homes. Additionally, they held a two-day auction in the fall of 1934 to sell the remainder of the items in Corinthian Hall. After this auction, the mansion sat empty and was for sale. Very little remained of the original furniture, and in some rooms there was the loss of all architectural fabric. These changes lessened the value of the building as a "historic house". Still, the Longs' daughters donated the estate to the Kansas City Museum Association in 1939. In 1940 it was opened to the public as a history and science museum. Facing financial difficulties, the Museum was deeded to the City of Kansas City, Missouri in 1948.

In the 1950s, display and interpretation of natural history took center stage at the Museum. Early in 1951, taxidermy specimen displays expanded into the basement of Corinthian Hall, along with mineralogical exhibits of fossils, rocks, and minerals.[5] During its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, the museum housed hundreds of stuffed animals in lifelike dioramas as well as offered various presentations and classes in taxidermy. It featured a 50-seat planetarium, and a much beloved 1910-style soda fountain that served up phosphates and ice cream.

By the 1970s, museum staff realized that the building was too small to do all it could for local history and science and decided to work toward splitting the Museum. Museum staff and civic leaders looked to the newly empty Union Station as a potential site for a new science museum.

From 2005 until December 2013 the museum was managed by Union Station Kansas City Inc., the same organization that maintains Kansas City's Union Station,[6] The primary buildings of the museum—the residence and carriage house—closed for major renovations in January 2008, .[7] This process, led by International Architects Atelier, included:

  • roof restoration and exterior masonry repair to Corinthian Hall (the mansion);
  • 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 an 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.

In May 2014, the City of Kansas City, Missouri's Parks and Recreation Department began to operate and manage the Kansas City Museum.[8]


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. Gallagher & Associates (28 April 2017). "Kansas City Museum Visitor Experience Plan": 2. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. "3218 Gladstone Blvd". homefacts.com. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  4. Bradley, Lenore K. (May 22, 1980). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination: Long, R.A. Residence" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
  5. "Museum History, From Mansion to Museum".
  6. Spencer, Laura (May 1, 2014). "A New Era For The Kansas City Museum".
  7. Campbell, Matt (December 20, 2007). "A KC Museum Revamp". Kansas City Star. p. A1:2. The Kansas City Museum will close on January 7, 2008, and not reopen until 2010 or later.
  8. Horsley, Lynn (July 4, 2016). "Kansas City Museum is laying out a roadmap for mansion renovation". Kansas City Star. That phase could be completed in 2019
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