Wednesday, March 23, 2011

HISTORY MUSEUM: Gets land 2 years after eminent domain scandal

COLUMBIA, 3/24/11  (Beat Byte) --  Two years after a controversial move to acquire land for a new museum using eminent domain exploded at City Hall and the State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSM), the Columbia City Council is scheduled to adopt a "memorandum of understanding" that will guide museum construction, but on land already owned by the University of Missouri. 

SHSM board members and Columbia City Manager Bill Watkins quietly introduced a January 2009 City Council bill that would have authorized eminent domain to acquire privately-owned land for the new museum then occupied by U.S. Cleaners at 501 Elm St.; Bengals Bar and Grill, at 227 S. 6th St.; and a rental house at 216 S. Fifth St.

The memorandum positions a new museum directly across the street, on a large parking lot around Mizzou's Heinkel Building at 201 S. 7th Street.   Though not binding, the agreement in principal has City Hall conveying a flat surface parking lot on 5th Street between Locust and Cherry Streets to SHSM for museum parking.  The newly-paved lot is in back of a parking garage and across from Flat Branch Pub and Brewery.

The memorandum, a detailed discussion, and maps of the proposed sites are online at:

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