Museum gets $6 million to finish State & Kinzie building
Loop North News

Wrigley Field

16-Nov-09 – The Museum of Broadcast Communications is getting $6 million from the State of Illinois to complete its half-finished building at State and Kinzie Streets.

The appropriation was approved on October 30 by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly and went to Governor Pat Quinn on November 4 for his signature. According to the founder and president of MBC, Quinn supports the grant.

Bruce DuMont made the announcement at the National Radio Hall of Fame ceremony on November 7. The Hall of Fame is a subsidiary of the non-profit MBC.

“Our struggle has been long and, as you know, it has been very difficult,” said DuMont. “It will only make opening day sweeter.”

Museum of Broadcast Communications
(Above) Bruce DuMont announces $6 million grant to his Museum of Broadcast Communications at the National Radio Hall of Fame ceremony on November 7.

The museum has been waiting for the money since 2005. Construction stopped in May 2006. Last December, the museum’s board of directors voted to sell the new building and hopefully remain as a tenant. “Our location in the shadow of Marina City is wonderful,” DuMont said at the time, “and we sincerely hope to be part of the future development of the site.”

In October 2008, it was announced that two restaurants, Tamarind and Johnny Rockets, would move into the building when completed. Each restaurant signed a ten-year lease of the ground floor.

According to the museum’s web site, the 62,000 square foot building will feature a two-story, glass-and-steel lobby atrium. 15,000 square feet will house exhibits devoted to television and radio history. 12,000 square feet will be used for the museum’s public programs, screenings, and lectures.

DuMont says it will be “one of the first museums in America built to a gold LEED environmental standard.”

MBC currently does not have a museum that is open to the public. It had been in the Chicago Cultural Center but that location closed in 2003.

“Get ready to restart construction, Pepper Construction,” DuMont said at the Hall of Fame ceremony, referring to the project’s construction company. Pepper has estimated that once construction restarted, it should take 10 to 12 months to complete.

Photo by Steven Dahlman
(Above) The site remains mostly unchanged since this photo was taken in December 2008.

DuMont quoted from a section of Illinois Senate Bill 1181. “The sum of six million dollars or so much thereof that may be necessary is hereby appropriated from the capital development fund to the Department of Natural Resources for capital grants to the Museum of Broadcast Communications for permanent improvements.”

The announcement was greeted with a standing ovation. DuMont thanked Quinn and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, “a very long-time supporter of the MBC and its educational mission.”

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By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

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