The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth
Western District of Missouri Branch
The Historical Society for the Western District of Missouri currently maintains a balance of $3982.69 in its account. These proceeds represent the balance of a $25,000 grant that the Court en banc made to the Society to fund an architectural design project for a part interactive and part traditional museum to be established in a large ceremonial room on the second public floor of the Courthouse. The architecture firm was able to draw on the history of our court, Federal Justice in Western Missouri, previously published by the University of Missouri Press.
Several proposed architectural renderings have now been completed and the Society has formed two fund-raising committees to begin raising the $350,000 - $400,000 it will take to fund and maintain such a project. A "special gifts" committee will be headed up by two attorneys, Landon Rowland, the former president of Kansas City Southern and the Stilwell Corporation, and Judith Heeter, a partner at Shughart, Thomson & Kilroy, P.C., who work exclusively for the Major League Baseball Players Association. The "special gifts" committee will focus its efforts on foundations, the various bar associations and a handful of individuals. A "lawyers committee" will be made up of three attorneys who regularly practice before the Court: Charles German, Pat McLarney and Gary Robb. This committee will be charged with going to individual firms and seeking contributions or commitments to contribute over a four to five year period.
It was the Society's hope that preliminary work could begin on an initial phase in early 2004. Three factors have influenced the decision to postpone that goal. First, the climate needed to raise substantial funds from both the foundation world as well as the local bar has only recently begun to return to normal. Second, the Society believes its design process would be better served if it could first inventory and then view what other courts have done or are doing before finalizing an architectural plan. Lastly, the Society is just now finalizing plans to fund these fund-raising efforts.