TOPEKA (KSNT) – Major changes are coming to the Kansas Museum of History. The museum is saying goodbye to the past and will be closing for major renovations effective September 4, 2022.

“This project has been ten years in the making. It was spearheaded by our former Executive Director Jennie Chinn. We close our doors Saturday, September 3 and after that, we are gearing up to get to work. We will start taking down exhibits, packing up artifacts, and getting the process started.” Trae Johnson, Museum Educator.

“A capital campaign was initiated some time ago with a goal of raising $6 million dollars. That goal has been met and it was all privately raised. The lobby will be freshened up as well as some exterior plaza work that we will use some state funds for.” Patrick Zollner Acting Executive Director.

The Kansas Historical Society has nearly raised the $6 million needed for renovations to the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka. The Kansas Museum of History hasn’t seen any major changes since its opening approximately 35 years ago. An 18 month construction plan is in place and hopes are that the new museum will be open in January 2024.

This award-winning museum tells the story of the people of Kansas, including Santa Fe’s oldest surviving locomotive, No. 132, from 1880. A. K. Longren’s 1914 version of the plane in which he made the first successful flight of a Kansas-built plane in 1911.

The museum has partnered with Kansas City-based design, build, and tech firm Dimensional Innovations to create the new exhibits. The Kansas Historical Society said its goal with the new exhibits is to tell the stories of Kansas in a way that resonates in the 21st century.

Admission to the Kansas Museum of History is free from August 17 to September 3. They are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday.