It was a long wait, but groundbreaking was held Thursday in New York for the Jackie Robinson Museum, a state-of-the-art facility that will house artifacts and stories on the life and career of the first African-American to play in the major leagues.
The groundbreaking for the Jackie Robinson Museum was a long time coming https://t.co/oYf64sLjiq pic.twitter.com/1iDedjuiIo
— Newsday Sports (@NewsdaySports) April 27, 2017
Located at 75 Verick Street in lower Manhattan, the museum is expected to have 18,500 square feet of space occupied by memorabilia and interactive kiosks, a 75-seat theater and two galleries for traveling exhibits.
Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s 95-year-old widow, was on hand for the ceremony. Her daughter Sharon told reporters the museum was her mother’s “last big effort on her list of things she wanted to have done for the legacy.”
The site was selected in 2007 by the Jackie Robinson Foundation but efforts to collect funds needed to move forward were hampered by a struggling economy early in the process.
Sports memorabilia collector Thomas Tull, whose Hollywood production company, Legendary Entertainment, made the movie “42,” has pledged $1 million toward the $42 million cost of the project.
A $6.5 million grant to the foundation from Strada Education Network pushed the total raised to $40 million and enabled construction work to begin.
Goldin Auctions has partnered with the Jackie Robinson Foundation and is has been holding an auction of memorabilia with closing set for this weekend. Robinson’s 1955 All-Star Game bat, vintage Robinson baseball cards and other memorabilia are part of the auction. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Foundation.