Liberty Memorial.

America's only World War I museum to reopen

In a world filled with explosions and evildoers, America needs a good war museum.

It's getting one -- old but impressive nevertheless -- on May 25, when The Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO, reopens for business.

The Liberty Memorial and its 217-foot-tall Eternal Flame tower were dedicated in 1921. 200,000 people reportedly attended the ceremonies. By 1994, however, the place was falling apart, nobody was visiting, and the buildings were finally closed out of fear that parts of them would fall down and kill the few people who bothered to show up (which included us: we especially liked the walk-thru replica WWI trench with battle sound effects.)

Times have changed and, after a $45 million restoration, the folks who run the Liberty Memorial have high hopes that it will be a hot ticket once again. Its collection of World War One memorabilia is so vast that it can't be exhibited even in the restored 1921 structure, so an additional $45 million will be spent on a huge underground -- bombproof -- addition that will add 32,000 square feet to the Memorial's display space by 2004.

The Memorial's rededication ceremony will include replica World War One dog tags for attendees and a relighting of the Eternal Flame atop the tower.

America's few surviving WWI veterans are all over 100 years old.

[05/19/2002]

Liberty Memorial Tower

Address:
2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO
Directions:
South side of downtown. Look for the concrete Liberty Memorial Tower. I-35 or I-70 to the Broadway exit. South on Broadway, then left on Pershing Road. Right on Kessler Road to the Liberty Memorial Tower and Museum.
Hours:
Tu-Su 10-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
816-888-8100
Admission:
Adults $16.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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