With America's downtowns thriving and younger generations increasingly interested in urban living, might there be a day when curious city-dwellers will be drawn to a former bowling alley and skating rink in suburban Kansas to view the treasured relics of suburbia?
That's what museum officials in Johnson County, Kansas are banking on, as they propose to spend $34 million to create "a faux suburb where visitors could wander through a model ranch-style home, wonder at an exhibit of lawn furniture and topple pins on a re-created bowling lane," reports Jim Carlton.
"'There's a museum for barbed wire and a museum of light bulbs,' says Larry Meeker, president of the Johnson County Museum Foundation Board, which is pushing the suburb museum, so why not a national museum for suburbia?"
"We thought, 'Why hasn't someone else thought of that?' " he says.
"Some locals think they know why not. 'I just don't think it's a big turn-on to see something you can see every day,' says Steve Rose, a Johnson County publisher of community newspapers and magazines who opposes the museum. 'It's not like you're visiting ancient Rome.'"