Gallagher logoVisitor Experience Plan
Gallagher & Associates, an internationally recognized museum planning and design firm with offices in Washington D.C., New York City, San Francisco, and Singapore, was hired by International Architects Atelier (IAA), the lead, primary architectural design firm for the Museum’s renovation project, to create a Visitor Experience Plan. This plan expands upon the 2010 interpretive plan, bringing it into alignment with the current architectural design plan, and preparing a solid foundation for future design and development of exhibitions and programs. The Visitor Experience Plan was adopted by the Parks Board on April 25, 2017.

In the Kansas City Museum’s Strategic Plan, produced by Museum Management Consultants, one of the strategic priorities was to create “a vibrant and participatory visitor experience that reflects the dynamic history, culture, and impact of Kansas City.” The Museum’s Visitor Experience Plan builds upon the Museum’s mission and specifically determines the core interpretive and thematic stories (outlined below) for Corinthian Hall and the Carriage House. These stories will guide the development of content for exhibitions, programs, and events.

The core stories of the visitor experience are as follows:

  • Cultural Confluences: Rivers to 1880s
  • A City Beautiful on the Missouri: 1890s to 1930s
  • Thriving Populations: 1890s to 1950s
  • Decline & Renewal: 1950s to 1990s
  • Cultural Renaissance: 1970s to Present
  • Our City, Our Stories: Past, Present, and Future

Click here to view a copy of the Visitor Experience Plan.

Kansas City Museum Visitor Experience Plan
Click the photo to view the Visitor Experience Plan.

Exhibition Design
In April 2018, Gallagher & Associates was hired by International Architects Atelier (IAA) for Schematic Exhibition Design. Gallagher & Associates will work closely with the Museum’s architects, renovation project team, Museum staff, and a group of local and regional historians, educators, curators, and artists to develop print and digital content for exhibitions and educational programs. This will include design for all interactive technologies (e.g. audio tours, touchscreens, artifact tagging, apps, and more) that will be integrated to enhance the learning environment and visitor experience.

There are two main phases to Exhibition Design. They include Schematic Design and Design Development. The Schematic Design phase has started and should be completed in August 2018. Schematic Design advances the Visitor Experience Plan is all about creating the concepts and design aesthetics from which all future work will be developed. Specifically, Gallagher & Associates, IAA, and the Museum Design Team will: 1) explore exhibit content – stories, artifacts, and images; 2) develop content brief and outline; 3) find the right exhibit techniques and design approaches for the content; 4) narrow the design approach options; 5) begin media concepting; and 6) provide initial space prep guidelines. When Schematic Design is completed, Gallagher & Associates will deliver the following: 1) draft script outline for exhibits with suggested artifacts/objects; 2) preliminary sketches, plans, and elevations coordinated with architecture, storylines, and media concepts; 3) preliminary graphic design concepts; 4) sketch-up model of overall exhibit; 5) 25% space preparation recommendations for architecture; 6) media matrix (general overview); 7) media process overview; 8) experience comparable mood boards; and 9) updated project budget and schedule. Design Development is expected to begin in September 2018.

A public presentation during the Schematic Design process will take place in June 2018. The Schematic Design Plan will be available on this website by early September.

For more information and questions, please contact Steff Hedenkamp at or (816) 506-4630.