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The National Museum of Suburbia .... Right here in Kansas

April 19, 2012

I’m sure so many of you have been driving through a suburban area and thought to yourself, “Gosh, there ought to be a museum about this, and I hope I can help pay for it!”

I thought not.

And yet, such a museum is in its planning stages in Johnson County, Kansas.

Last year, the Johnson County History Museum staff finalized a master plan to move the current county museum to a new location, and to purchase enough additional space to create a National Museum of Suburbia. According to the plan, around $30 million will be necessary for renovation and construction of exhibits.

But this isn’t just an idea tossed out by the museum staff – the board of commissioners has actually approved the purchase of an abandoned building to house both museums. Time will tell if this proposal will be able to get beyond this stage, but the fact that a $30 million dollar museum highlighting the phenomenon of SUVs, shopping centers and scores of taupe houses – funded at least in part with tax dollars – has gotten this far is simply astounding.

The proposed master plan calls for a wow factor as visitors approach the facility. Oh, I’d say there’s definitely a “Wow.”

Jen Rezac, Kansas Communications Director

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