During the past 11 years, the Kearney Historic Museum, 101 South Jefferson St., which opened its doors on June 1, 2006, has been filling up the museum space with exhibits, displays and collections to help tell the town’s history – and, over time, outgrowing its storage and display space.
With this growth, Mayor Bill Dane and the Board of Alderman recognized the need for more space at the museum. When the opportunity to acquire the old bank building (103 E. Washington) adjacent to the existing museum building arose, they acted on it.
The city of Kearney was able to obtain the building with the help of Dr. William and Celia Reed, the previous owners, through a partial sale and partial donation of the building to the city of Kearney.
The $400,000 project, which is being completed by Zipco Contracting, LLC, started in January 2016 with the creation of the architectural plans for the 1,000-square-foot expansion of display and exhibit space as well as:
- Two new, large storage areas
- Combined classroom and meeting space
- New electrical, HVAC and plumbing
- New floor coverings
- Removal of partition walls
- New handicap-accessible restroom
- Doorway to the adjoining building
- Removal of existing exterior canopy, attachments, tan brick veneer and stucco
- Installation of a new storefront glazing and façade
The construction is expected to be completed in April, with a grand reopening on Saturday, June 3.
And as the front of the building returns to its “turn of the century” façade, the excitement for the reopening in the community is building, said Gerri Spencer, museum director.
“Our residents have expressed pleasure to have this 1870 gem be renovated in our historic downtown area, and they have been stepping forward with bits and pieces of our history to donate” she said. “We don’t want to give away the surprise with what you will see, but there is something for everyone in the museum. Come explore Kearney’s past, see the wisdom and works, icons, and artifacts of this and previous generations.”
If you have something of historic value to donate or would like to volunteer for the museum, please call 816-903-1856.
Source: Kearney Is Open
Additional photo credits: KCFountains