National World War I Museum and Memorial to undergo $6.4 million upgrade

Posted at 6:38 AM, Dec 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-26 22:24:14-05

A $6.4 million project is coming to the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

Chief Executive Officer and President of the National World War I Museum and Memorial, Matthew Naylor says 3,500 square feet of space will soon be home to a new gallery.

“We're really excited about the future here at the National WWI Museum and Memorial and this space that we're standing in now is an unfinished area within the envelope of the building that we're going to be creating a new gallery in,” Naylor said. 

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Naylor says it will have a climate controlled environment.

“In an old building like this, we sometimes get intrusions of water, we want to make sure this space is absolutely secure,” he said. “And that'll provide this high quality, climate control environment for us to bring treasures of other countries right here to Kansas City to exhibit.”

Naylor said new flooring, walls and a roof will be built.

“A building within a building will be created,” he said. “We need a highly secure, high quality space, in order for us to bring exhibitions to Kansas City and in some instances to the United States that would otherwise not come here and that's what we're doing in this space here.”

Naylor said because they collect encyclopedically, they're always in contact with collectors and governments around the world to help build their collection.

“We want to be able to expand the story, to be able to talk about some of the ongoing impacts of World War I and a gallery space like this will enable us to expand the story, to be able to bring content here,” he said. “For us to curate exhibitions so that people can continue to learn about the enduring impact of World War I.”

Additional outside lighting and some upgrades to the museum’s electricity is also in the works.

In the beginning of 2017, they will also be refreshing the poppy fields’ architectural display, which is what visitors see when they come through the main doors.

“The field there is 10 years old now and we’re going to be addressing that,” Naylor said.

The new exhibit gallery is expected to be ready by the beginning of 2018.



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