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History Museum on the Square plans reopening

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Last edited 12:21 p.m., May 27, 2020

After spending two of its first 10 months in operation temporarily closed due to the coronavirus crisis, the History Museum on the Square is scheduled to reopen tomorrow.

The 154 Park Central Square museum has been closed since March 18. It opened in August 2019 after more than $12 million in renovations that started in 2014.

To comply with occupancy limits in the city of Springfield's Road to Recovery plan, the museum will reopen with a max of 150 guests at a time. Additionally, signage will encourage social distancing, increased cleaning efforts are being employed, and guests are being asked to wear face masks, according to a Facebook post. Employees are required to wear face masks.

"We will continually monitor this situation and, with the guidance of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and local officials, update procedures as needed," museum officials wrote in the post. "We will continue to add online content through our social media channels and find creative ways to engage our patrons."

Museum Director of Development Krista Adams said that, conservatively, the attraction lost at least $50,000 in revenue and 3,000 missed visitors during its two-month hiatus.

The History Museum on the Square in January was named the best new attraction of 2019 by readers of USA Today’s 10Best.com. It beat out the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in New York in the No. 2 spot.

The museum opened Aug. 8, 2019, after five years of renovations. In 2008, museum officials bought the now 104-year-old former Barth’s Clothing Store building for $800,000, funded by donations.

The museum’s six permanent galleries are:
• Birthplace of Route 66;
• Native Crossroads at the Spring;
• Pioneers and Founders at the Crossroads;
• The Civil War in Springfield;
• Trains, Trolleys and Transportation: Children’s Education Area; and
• Wild Bill Hickok and the American West.

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