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August 30, 2008

WWI Museum a KC treasure

In “KC’s got a winner in World War I Museum” (8/18, Opinion), Laura Scott gave the public a much-needed message. Kansas City really does have a splendid “jewel” in the Liberty Memorial — itself an architectural jewel deserving more local recognition.

The Memorial was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge on Nov. 11, 1926. The architect was New Yorker H. Van Buren Magonigle. His visionary design, with its 217-foot flame-topped tower, has kept watch over our city into the 21st century.

When the ravages of time necessitated basic restoration to the Liberty Memorial, Kansas City architect Stephen Abend was chosen to revitalize Kansas City’s historic landmark. For this, he recently received the American Institute of Architects 2008 Award for Architecture, one of only 13 nationwide. It was the architect’s vision to utilize the vast cavity beneath the Memorial, the product of the original 1920s excavation, and form an expansive complex, including a setting for an expanded WW I Museum.

Here, Ralph Appelbaum Associates designed the remarkable showcase for WWI treasures, the National World War I Museum, worthy of repeated visits.

Sarajane S. Aber
Liberty Memorial Association Trustee
Kansas City



If you are interested in learning about the Memorial's history a documentary has been made about it that incorporates interviews with veterans and people in Kansas City who were there for the first dedication. The movie is available on Amazon.com if you do a search for Liberty Memorial.

Of course the monument must really be seen in person to be fully appreciated.


Fond Sunday afternoon family memories.

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