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Toy and Miniature Museum closing in 2014 for renovations

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A popular Kansas City attraction is closing its doors. The Toy and Miniature Museum, open for more than 30 years, is shutting down this weekend. However, it's only temporary and the museum plans to make some big changes before it reopens in 2015.

The museum is inside of an old mansion on UMKC’s campus and it attracts thousands of people each year. It features 38 rooms full of nostalgic toys and fine-scale miniatures. Laura Taylor is an educator at the museum and talked with FOX 4 about some of her favorite pieces, like an old colonial house.

“There’s even a working colonial clock jack in the fireplace,” she said.

The museum opened in 1982 and was the dream of two women who loved to collect small pieces.

“One day Mary Harris Francis' mother said, ‘If you girls get one more thing, you're going to have to open a museum,’ and they said, ‘Maybe we will,'” according to Taylor.

Now more than 30 years later, Taylor said it's time for a change.

“The collection has so many delicate objects that are made out of paper and materials that won't last in a regular environment,” she said.

There are more than 72,000 pieces that need to be packed and moved to another location. Once that happens, renovations can begin.

“We’ll be replacing our heating and cooling system and adding vapor barriers and humidity control, so it will be a much better environment for our collection,” Taylor said.

A better, controlled environment that Taylor says will keep the pieces in mint condition for many years to come.

“We think we have a really important story for Kansas City and for the country. So we want to make that as accessible as we possibly can,” she said.

The museum will reopen with a new name in the Spring of 2015: "The National Museum of Toys. You can follow the progress of the renovations by clicking on this link.

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