Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Planning Studies

Kansas City, Missouri | 2008–2015

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In early 2008 Scott Associates was hired by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to address long term planning for the institution. With the completion of the Bloch Building, an era of expansion for the museum had concluded and a focus on community and neighborhood conservation became the strategic course for the next generation. Coordination of public policy plans, preparation of facility and infrastructure growth frameworks and community engagement strategies were all part of the planning responsibility.

District Framework

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is located in two Kansas City, Missouri urban core residential communities, the Southmoreland and Rockhill neighborhoods. As the museum has grown over a number of generations, it has maintained an integral relationship with both neighborhoods as well as with the City of Kansas City, Missouri. Concerns about the use of museum-owned property have sometimes challenged these relationships. At the same time, the museum has a commitment to its mission to serve future generations and to promote healthy neighborhoods and community stability. Scott Associates prepared the District Framework plan to address and document the range of Community, Building and Site Development, and Public Policy issues that confront the Nelson-Atkins as it moves into a new era of institutional evolution. The purposes of the plan include:

  • Provide a basis for management discussion
  • Diagnose and surface planning issues for future investigation
  • Promote transparency for Museum decisions with the greater community
  • Preserve and enhance community relationships
  • Identify public policy mechanisms to help shape museum actions and be shaped by museum response

The three primary topics for this planning study cited above (Community, Building and Site, and Public Policy) are organized around two planning goals and by the recommendations embodied in the District Framework document. The goals are:

  • To establish a premise for building and site use and long range growth patterns
  • To define a cohesive, stable perimeter for the Nelson-Atkins Museum 

Community Development Study