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Springfield Art Museum News Releases

Posted on: May 17, 2021

Springfield Art Museum Breaks Ground on Phase I of 30-Year Master Plan

A rendering of the Museum's grounds featuring a naturalized Fassnight Creek.


Springfield, MO. (May 17, 2021) – The Springfield Art Museum is pleased to announce that Phase I improvements to the Museum’s grounds are underway. In 2018, the Museum commissioned award-winning architecture firm, BNIM to produce a 30-year Master Plan for its building and grounds. The goal of this plan was to reimagine the Museum during its 90th anniversary year 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 public 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.

Phase I of this Master Plan 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 to 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.

Phase I improvements are estimated to cost $3M and are fully funded through a mix of public and private investment. The active construction project has closed Brookside Drive to through traffic for an estimated 7 months. The Museum remains open to the public. Visitors to the Museum should utilize Bennett Street and the north parking lot entrance. Museum Director Nick Nelson says, “We are so inspired by the Museum’s 90 years of service to our community, and excited about the next 90 years, and we invite you to join us on this journey as we create something beautiful and artful for our community and the Ozarks region.”

In lieu of a traditional ground-breaking ceremony, the Museum held a small socially distanced event and worked with Opfer Communications to produce a video and virtual ground-breaking to explain the impact of this project on the Museum’s next 90 years of service to the community. You can view the virtual ground-breaking at: Learn more about the Museum's visionary 30-year Master Plan by visiting:

The Springfield Art Museum is located at 1111 East Brookside Drive. Admission is always free. Donations are gratefully accepted.


The Springfield Art Museum is Springfield, Missouri’s oldest cultural institution, founded in 1928. A department of the City of Springfield, the Museum invites you to connect with the world, your community, and yourself through active engagement with art objects. For more information, please visit or contact Joshua Best, Museum Affairs Officer at (417) 874-2859 or

Virtual Ground-Breaking
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