21-Mar-11 A 22-foot-long steel and neon sculpture displaying images on 36 monitors will greet visitors and passers-by alike when the Museum of Broadcast Communications opens at State and Kinzie Streets.
According to floor plans shared Monday on the museums Facebook page, elaborate exhibits are being constructed and major donors are on board.
Various companies such as NBC News and TV Land, non-profit organizations, and individuals that include radio icon Paul Harvey and WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling sponsor much of the museum. The biggest donor appears to be media conglomerate Clear Channel Communications, which will sponsor the National Radio Hall of Fame Gallery on the second floor for $900,000.
Tributes to pioneers of American radio and television, such as Walt Disney, Betty White, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, will be the first thing people see when they enter the museum from State Street. A grand staircase in a two-story glass and steel atrium will lead guests to the media tower sculpture designed by Cincinnati artist Mark Patsfall.
After that, expect exhibits on music and variety shows, talk shows, comedy, drama, reality TV, news, sports, politics, talk shows, game shows, childrens shows, commercials, and the future of radio and TV.
Two exhibits, once part of the museum when it was located at the Chicago Cultural Center, will showcase living rooms of the 1940s and 1970s. The living room, says the museums website, was where America laughed and was scared and where a nation followed the actions of the brave men who protected us from across the seas.
The 1970s is described as a similar bygone era
the last decade when the Big Three TV networks defined our lives, and when television came of age and topics once considered taboo hit the airwaves for the first time.
The museum will also include a theater, a fully operational radio studio and control room, and a television studio.
Construction of the 62,000 square foot building at North State Street & West Kinzie Street resumed last June after sitting idle for four years due to funding delays. Museum president Bruce DuMont says basic interior work, such as installing plumbing and ducts, should be completed by April 30, 2011.
1 Chicago Connections
2 Mitchell Rubin Family Atrium
3 Roscor Media Tower
4 Museum Store
5 Admission Desk
6 Listening and Watching Through The Years
7 Building a LEED Gold Museum
8 Welcome Exhibit
10 Music Variety Exhibit
11 Special Presentation Area
12 Living Rooms of the Past
13 Drama Exhibit
14 Marjorie G. Weinberg Education Center
15 National Radio Hall of Fame Gallery
16 Comedy Exhibit
17 Paul & Angel Harvey Radio Studio
18 Radio Control Room
20 Game Shows
21 Bozo, Gar, & Ray
23 Founders Conference Room
24 Talk Shows
25 Religion Kiosk
26 Behind the Scenes TV
27 Lee Phillip & William Bell Family Television Studio
28 Television Control Room
29 Master Control Room
31 Politics on the Air
32 The Great Debate & Beyond
34 General Offices
35 Rotating Exhibit Gallery