Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Work is now underway to grow the historic Eugene Field House and Museum downtown.

A ground-breaking ceremony Friday morning will kick off a year’s worth of construction to expand the home of the world-renowned children’s poet.

“He wrote Wynken, Blynken and Nod, Little Boy Blue and the Gingham Dog and Calico Cat,” reminds Kimberly Larson, director of the Eugene Field House Foundation. “This was his birthplace.”

The house is also one of only three properties in the United States physically associated with the Dred and Harriet Scott freedom trial, a top significant moment in American legal history.

It also houses one of the largest collections of toys and dolls in the nation.

Larson says they need the 4,000 square feet extension for new and expanded displays.

“We get almost 4,000 visitors a year,” she says. “But we’re hoping to double that, if not triple it.”

Larson admits that the new construction will indeed gobble up some parking spaces normally used by Cardinals fans.

“We own the lot and it was always part of our dream to expand,” she says, explaining that they had to fight not to have the Interstate 64 exit ramp built on the lot but a couple of blocks over, instead. “Cardinal fans are going to be very happy to see that we’re going to have public restrooms, so that will be a good plus.”

Look for the expansion of the Eugene Field House and Museum to be finished about a year from now.

(TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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