Suburban Kansas Dream: Museum of Suburbia

More than half of America lives in the suburbs. The others, too, will be able to savor suburbia by coming to this Kansas City, Mo., suburb if local planners have their way. Museum officials in Johnson County, Kan., propose spending $34 million to create the National Museum of Suburbia, a faux suburb where visitors could wander through a model ranch-style home, wonder at an exhibit of lawn furniture and topple pins on a re-created bowling lane. Among envisioned exhibits, to be built inside a cavernous former bowling alley and skating rink: a backyard fence with peepholes that let museum visitors spy on fake suburban neighbors played by actors in period suburban clothing. The suburbia museum’s backers cite a 2010 feasibility study that projects it could draw 60,000 annual visitors paying up to $6 each. The study didn’t assess where visitors would come from, but museum believers say they expect tourists and residents from the nearby metropolis. Backers concede it may be 2018 before the suburbia museum opens its doors, but they do have a vision.

Wall Street Journal


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