© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

KC Council Approves Rezoning For Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art Property

Laura Spencer
KCUR 89.3
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art owns four houses north of the museum on 45th Street, which will be preserved and used for museum offices.

After months of stops and starts, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art now has the go ahead for the first phase of its master plan. On Thursday, the Kansas City City Council approved a zoning change for the museum's 29-acre property. 

Outdoor sculptures will take the place of the tennis courts of the former Rockhill Tennis Club along Rockhill Road. The clubhouse will be available for sale as a residence. The museum will expand offices, as needed, to the four historic houses it owns along 45th Street. 

The Nelson-Atkins filed the application for rezoning in September. But the proposal was controversial, and disagreements from years past surfaced between the cultural institution and neighborhood associations. 

In November, the City Plan Commission put the issue on hold after testimony stretched several hours. The museum was asked to continue talking to its neighbors. After months of discussions, they reached an agreement in May. In June, the commission approved the revised proposal.

Related: Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art And Neighbors Reconcile Differences

This week, the city's planning, zoning and economic development committee advanced it to the full council. 

"It's really a great example of what can happen when institutions and entities that seem far apart take the time to sit down and actually listen to each other and work out their differences," Councilwoman Katheryn Shields said on Thursday. 

Shields added, "They've come up with a solution that is far superior to what either side was initially presenting."

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter @lauraspencer.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.