The Historic Garment District Museum, located at 801 Broadway Blvd., was founded and opened in 2002 by Ann Brownfield and Harvey Fried. Kansas City’s Garment District (an area defined as between 6th and 11th Streets, and Washington and Wyandotte Streets) rose up around the wholesale business area of the City’s downtown after World War I and grew steadily to become, at its peak, one of the largest garment districts in the nation and the second largest industry and employer (of women) in Kansas City.

The Garment District Collection highlights companies that helped make up Kansas City’s Garment District. The Collection is comprised of more than 350 garments and accessories made by local companies from the 1920s through the 1980s and includes numerous objects such as sewing equipment and advertising pieces. In 2015 the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department took over ownership of the museum space, and the Kansas City Museum acquired the Garment District Collection.

The Garment District Collection of Kansas City-made garments and accessories allows the Kansas City Museum to add to its stellar collection of historical clothing, textiles, and costumes, which comprises more than 20,000 items in the Museum’s collection and is one of the best collections of its kind in the region.

The Historic Garment District Museum is ONLY open:

June 2 – September 2, 2022
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Admission is FREE

Please email Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs, Denise Morrison, at dmorrison@kansascitymuseum.org for more information or call at 816.702.7703.

Helpful Tips:

At the entrance on 8th and Broadway, there are numerous steps outside the building and one set of steps inside. If your party needs an accessible entrance to the building, please contact the Kansas City Museum in advance and we will provide directions to the accessible entrance.

Parking is available on Broadway and 8th Street; both are metered.

There is one single restroom onsite.

You should allow yourself a minimum of 30 minutes to view everything. There are approximately 20-25 items on display plus some machines, photos, and ephemera.

Museum staff does not provide a guided tour; staff will introduce the space, give a general introduction about the Garment District and answer questions.

POMP AND CEREMONY: Inaugurations, First Families and Beyond 
Click Here to view Virtual Tour

The fashion of politics is about making a statement—protesting or campaigning for a leader or a cause. We can identify ourselves with a position by what we wear. There are also fashion statements in what we wear to major political events in our history—being appropriately dressed has never mattered as much as it does at political gatherings.

Pomp and Ceremony: Inaugurations, First Families and Beyond looks at what we wore to those political events: the inaugurations, balls, parties, and campaign rallies. Everyone has a garment they have kept because of its relationship to a political event or belief. For many years, the Museum’s auxiliary The Women’s Division was intent on collecting the best pieces of fashion worn to “big” events, paying particular attention to ceremonial wear. Some of the items acquired by the Women’s Division have belonged to a few 20th Century First Ladies.

If there’s one political souvenir kept from presidential elections it’s the campaign button, a candidate’s or party’s best advertising piece. So, in addition to clothing worn, the exhibit also highlights a selection of political ephemera related to presidential campaigns as far back as William Henry Harrison. Buttons, badges, pins and medals are all included.

We have a shared heritage of campaigns and voting—no matter the cause or political figure it is an experience we all participate in.  What we wore, what we saved from that experience is the stuff of history.