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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dinosaurs at the Museum at Prairiefire

Overland Park is home to the Museum at Prairiefire. I first visited shortly after it opened in 2014. The museum operates in partnership with the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Luckily for the Midwest, this gives residents and visitors access to exhibitions and educational resources that would not otherwise be available in this part of the country.

The current exhibition, The World's Largest Dinosaurs, runs through September 4, so there is still time to visit. According to the museum's website, "The huge dinosaurs called sauropods ... rank among Earth's great success stories, roaming the planet for 140 million years."

I have not yet seen the this exhibition, but I intend to. For today, I will focus on the marvelous building that houses the museum. It is one of my favorite buildings in the Kansas City area and if you haven't yet seen it, put it on your must-see list.

It is the first building in North America to feature dichroic glass on its exterior. NASA developed dichroic glass, a light-bending material, to protect astronauts' eyes from the sun's radiation.

It absorbs light s tone color on the exterior and filters it differently on the interior. This creates a constantly changing pattern of reds, oranges, golds and blues depending on the time of day and the brightness of the sun. The architect created the design to showcase the prairie. Whenever I'm in the area, I drive by just to see what the museum looks like at that moment.

In addition to the museum and its exhibitions, there's great food and shopping in the area, so plan to your visit accordingly. Check out the museum's light pattern when you arrive and when you leave. It will change.

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