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Liberty Memorial

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KC landmarks seek revival

Memorial set to go private Feb. 1

By MATT CAMPBELL

The Kansas City Star

A new museum and a plan for private management are in the works for the Liberty Memorial. Last week cement masons touched up the concrete framework around the skylights that will allow visitors to view the memorial's tower as they enter the museum underneath. 

As Kansas City prepares to vote on a $20 million bond issue for the Liberty Memorial, city officials are poised to transfer the monument to private management.

The Liberty Memorial Association, which created the monument and now is trying to raise money for a new museum below the shrine's deck, would assume day-to-day control of the local icon Feb. 1.

A management contract before the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners on Tuesday foresees an end to annual city subsidies in 10 years.

But $20 million in city-backed bonds would go a long way toward building the proposed $26 million museum, which would feature high-tech interactive displays and the nation's largest collection of World War I artifacts.

Proponents say the private management deal would spur the completion of fund raising for an attraction that would draw visitors to Kansas City.

The management contract would require City Council approval.

The city would contribute $625,000 a year for overhead costs

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