The Historic Garment District Museum of Kansas City is located in DST’s Poindexter building, at 801 Broadway, in the heart of the old Garment District between 6th and 11th streets and Washington and Wyandotte streets.
The Museum is currently closed and will reopen in mid-September 2015 under the management of the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department, which also operates and manages the Kansas City Museum (located at 3218 Gladstone Blvd., KCMO, 64123).
Recently, the Kansas City Museum acquired more than 300 Kansas City-made garments and accessories from the Historic Garment District Museum of Kansas City, which was founded and opened in 2002 by Ann Brownfield and Harvey Fried. Ann and Harvey have operated the museum since its opening with public hours on Saturdays and special tours by appointment. Many of the buildings nearby date back to the 1870s and are on the National Register of Historic Places. After World War I and through the 1940s, the area employed more than 4,000 people and boasted that one out of every seven women in the United States purchased a Kansas City-made garment. Manufacturing of garments was the second largest employer of any industry in Kansas City, MO.
Over the past several months, Ann and Harvey have decided to retire from the daily operations of the museum. Along with donating the collection, they have requested that the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department operate and manage the Historic Garment District Museum at its current Broadway location, which includes establishing new open hours for the public, developing programs and exhibitions, and managing the collection. The Garment District Place Park, dedicated in 2010 by Parks and Recreation, is located across Broadway from the museum. The park has a fountain and a 22-foot “Needle” sculpture as tribute to the Garment District’s legacy.
“The Historic Garment District is a significant part of Kansas City’s history, and the museum that Ann and Harvey have created and sustained is a gem,” said Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera. The collection and the opportunity to manage the Broadway location allows the Kansas City Museum to add to its stellar collection of historical clothing, textiles, and costumes, which is comprised of more than 20,000 items in the Museum’s collection and is one of the best collections of its kind in the region.
“We are honored and grateful that Ann and Harvey would entrust this collection and their museum to the City of Kansas City and Parks and Recreation Department. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with them,” Director of Kansas City Parks and Recreation Mark McHenry said.
The Parks and Recreation Department is planning to reopen the Broadway location of the Historic Garment District Museum in mid-September with regular public hours from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and by appointment Wednesday-Friday.