Master Plan

In 2018, the Springfield Art Museum commissioned award-winning architecture firm, BNIM to produce a Master Plan for its building and grounds. The goal of this plan was to reimagine the Museum as a 21st century civic asset by expanding educational and public programming space and creating strong physical and aesthetic connections between the Museum grounds, an adjacent park and a greenway trail.  While the scope of the Master Plan was limited to the Museum’s building and grounds, it was to be understood in the context of a larger, multi-phased plan to link the Museum to other parts of the community through parks and trails.

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  1. Phase I: The Grounds
  2. Phase II: Education Wing
  3. Phase III: West Entry
  4. Phase IV: Galleries and Auditorium

Phase I includes improvements to the Museum’s grounds including widening and naturalizing Fassnight Creek, which flows through a concrete channel directly south of the Museum, to mitigate flooding risk for the Museum. Phase I will also include creating trail connections to nearby amenities including the WaterWise Garden south of the Museum and Phelps Grove Park to the west of the Museum. Parking will be relocated and expanded on the north side of the Museum grounds to create additional greenspace for the Museum’s WPA-era Amphitheater, located on the western edge of the grounds, to the Museum’s West Entrance. This will also improve connections between the Museum grounds and Phelps Grove Park, located to the west of the Amphitheater.

Fassnight Creek Naturalization/Stormwater Improvements

Project Status: Funded with anticipated start date of March 15, 2021

While developing the 30-year Master Plan it was discovered that FEMA was in the process of redrawing flood plain maps and planned to place the Museum in both the 100-year and 500-year flood plain. To correct this, the City of Springfield is working to widen and naturalize Fassnight Creek. These improvements will include native Missouri plantings to create an urban wildlife habitat, pedestrian/bike trails, and outdoor sculpture.  

Funding for this project is provided through Missouri Department of Natural Resources Stormwater Grant, Missouri Department of Conservation Native Planting Grant, Environmental Protection Agency 319 Grant, and 1/4-cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax.  For more information about the Fassnight Creek Stormwater Improvement Project, visit the following weblink: Click here.

Fassnight Creek Naturalization Project as seen from Brookside Dr. and Bennett St. looking west.

Fassnight Creek Greenway Trail Connection

Project Status: Funded with anticipated start date of Fall 2021

A key goal of the 30-year Master Plan is to connect the Museum and its grounds to sites and amenities throughout the City via our stellar Greenway Trails.  This goal will be met through the future construction of a multi-use trail connection, planned for construction in fall 2021. 

The connection will begin at Clay Avenue, continue east through Phelps Grove Park and end at Brookside Drive. The new 1,600 linear foot path will include a bike repair station, ADA ramps and will connect to shared bike lanes on Brookside Drive via a new pedestrian bridge. 

The trail project will begin construction following the completion of a separate stretch of trail further to the west, from Jefferson Avenue to Clay Avenue. When all is complete, this section of trail will stretch from the Museum to Phelps Grove Park to Parkview High School and Fassnight Park and will ultimately connect up with the future Grant Avenue Parkway BUILD grant project.  For more information about the Grant Avenue Parkway project, visit the following weblink: https://grantavenueparkway.com/ 

The Fassnight trail project will be funded through federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grants with the City funding a 20% match through the 1/8-cent Transportation Sales Tax.

Proposed trail alignment for the Fassnight Creek Greenway to the Museum.

Northside Parking Improvements

Status: Funded with anticipated start date of Summer/Fall 2021

Per the 30-year Master Plan, Phase I will also include improvements to parking, which will be relocated to the north side of the Museum property, creating better connectivity between the Museum grounds and Phelps Grove Park as well as additional greenspace for the Amphitheater. In addition to expanded parking, these improvements will include enhanced access to the Museum grounds through trails and walkways, improved lighting, attractive landscaping, and stormwater management features such as pervious pavers and other improvements that will help water quality by addressing nonpoint source pollutants.

Aerial view of parking improvements on the north side of the Museum grounds.

Phase 1: Northside Parking Improvements

Parking improvements will be completed through a phased approach.  Phase 1 includes construction of westside parking with most of the Museum's current parking lot remaining.  This is to ensure handicap accessible parking is available for the Museum's current west entrance.  The sketch below illustrates the proposed Phase 1 improvements.

Sketch of proposed phase 1 of north parking lot improvements.

Northside Parking Improvements: With All Phases Complete

The Museum anticipates completing all northside parking improvements as part of 30-year Master Plan, Phase III: West Side Entry.  The sketch below illustrates the proposed Phase 2 parking improvements to be completed in conjunction with Phase III: West Side Entry.

Sketch of final proposed improvements with north parking improvements.

Stormwater Management

As part of the Northside Parking Improvements, the Museum will work to implement environmentally sustainable solutions including those intended to address pollutants from parking lot run-off, referred to as "nonpoint source pollutants".  This will be achieved through pervious pavers, native plantings, and other measures that will help filter pollutants before they enter the water supply.  The sketch below details a cross section of the proposed parking lot improvements and the measures taken to address stormwater management.

Sketch showing the proposed cross section of the parking lot with stormwater improvements.


The Northside Parking Improvements are generously funded by the Sunderland Foundation.

Sunderland Foundation Logo

Need more information?

The full 30-year Master Plan book can be found at the following weblink: Springfield Art Museum 30-year Master Plan Book

Want regular update on this project via email?

If you would like regular email updates about current projects or future phases of the Museum's 30-year Master Plan you can sign up for notifications at the following weblink: Notification Sign-up Form.  

Interested in supporting this project?

If you are interested in supporting this project financially or otherwise, please contact Nick Nelson, Museum Director, at nnelson@springfieldmo.gov.  Naming opportunities are available.