Overland Park, KS, USA (May 12, 2014) — Matt Campbell reports in the Kansas City Star on the Museum at Prairiefire, the institutional anchor to a 60-acre residential/retail/entertainment project in Overland, KS, USA, which opened today. The museum’s main hall will feature exhibits direct from New York’s American Museum of Natural History:
“The $28 million museum, which opens Monday, is the cultural centerpiece of a 60-acre residential and entertainment district called Prairiefire that is rapidly rising at 135th Street and Nall Avenue. A bowling and bocce bistro and a cutting edge movie theater are also opening.
“The museum emphasizes the sciences and will feature changing exhibits as well as permanent attractions. Although the American Museum of Natural History disseminates content around the world, its relationship with the Museum at Prairiefire is said to be unique in its depth and continuity.
“Developer Fred Merrill Jr. knew he wanted to have some kind of civic component for his planned mixed-use development. Seven years ago he placed a cold call to the American Museum of Natural History and struck a vein.
“’I hit them at a time when they were looking to expand their brand,’ Merrill said. ‘I said why don’t we build a museum at Prairiefire that will have a continuous display and why don’t we sign a long-term contract? They were checking us out and checking the area quite a bit and after a couple of years we came to an agreement. We were definitely trailblazing.’
“The woman he first talked to at the museum, Uli Sailer Das, even agreed to come here to be executive director of the new venue.”