The Pro Football Hall of Fame reached a milestone today with a "topping out" ceremony, which marked the completion of the steel-frame construction of Phase I of its $27 million Future 50 Project. The final beam was hoisted by crane to the highest point of the new Ralph Wilson, Jr. Research and Preservation Center, a major component of the Hall of Fame’s expansion and renovation project.
A topping out ceremony is a construction industry tradition in which a steel beam carrying an evergreen tree to symbolize good luck and an American flag is raised to a structure's highest point. The steel beam installed today was signed by the architects, engineers, construction crew, members of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees and Staff, community members and by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Wilson, Jr., a major donor to the project.
The final beam bearing the signatures of architects, engineers, construction crew, members of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees and Staff, community members and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Wilson, Jr.
"Today’s topping-out ceremony celebrates an important and exciting milestone in this construction project as well as in the overall history of the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Steve Perry, Hall of Fame President/Executive Director. “The successful growth and development of the Pro Football Hall of Fame during its first 50 years are widely acclaimed and this latest major project sets the stage for future success. The installation of a state-of-the-art, museum quality environmental control system will assure the Hall of Fame’s ability to properly preserve pro football’s historic documents and artifacts and solidify its position as America’s premier sports museum and showplace.”
Westlake, Reed, Leskosky (WRL), founded in Cleveland is a nationally-recognized full-service, integrated architecture, engineering and technology design firm, is the project Architect. WRL’s award-winning portfolio of work includes nearly a score of museum projects, 150-plus cultural centers, and 80-plus master plans and feasibility studies.
Gallagher & Associates, one of the top exhibit design firms is the project’s exhibit and visitor experience designer. Gallagher has worked with WRL on a number of successful museum projects and recently completed the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Lamar Hunt Super Bowl Gallery.
Fred Olivieri Construction Company and Welty Building Company, two well-known Northeast Ohio companies have partnered to serve as the project’s Construction Manager, Olivieri/Welty.
The groundbreaking and construction of Phase I of the Future 50 Project began on August 5, 2011 and will be completed by June 2012. Work will stop during the 2012 Enshrinement Festival and Phase II will begin in late August 2012. That final phase will include major renovation of the galleries in the rotunda building and the installation of completely new exhibits. The entire Future 50 Project will be completed and ready for a grand opening by August, 2013.
The Future 50 Project includes:
• A new state-of-the-art, museum-quality environmental control system – This will provide the required level of precise control of temperature and humidity throughout the museum.
• The Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center – A 10,800-square-foot addition coupled with the renovation of an existing 6,000-square-foot space that will enable the proper preservation and storage of the Hall of Fame’s comprehensive and growing collection of pro football artifacts, documents and archive materials relating to the history of pro football. The Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center will also enhance the Hall of Fame’s ability to use the collection to educate the public about pro football, its origins, and its impact on society and to provide improved access to pro football researchers and historians.
• A new Main Entrance and Grand Lobby – The main entrance to the Hall of Fame is being relocated to the center of the museum complex as part of the effort to minimize the infiltration of outside air as necessary to help to precisely control the temperature and humidity in the museum. The new Grand Lobby will feature a two-story atrium that will dramatically enhance the visitor experience.
• A new Temporary Exhibition Gallery – This space will provide new dedicated space for temporary and/or traveling exhibits.
• The Hall of Fame’s original iconic two-story rotunda, originally constructed in 1963, will be completely renovated with new displays and retrofitted with proper environmental controls.
• New indoor and outdoor spaces for special events – This includes a 3,200 square foot addition to provide space for Hall of Fame special events and rental for private events.
• Expanded museum retail store space – Retail space will grow from 4,000 square feet to 7, 500 square feet.
• New administrative office wing – This is necessary to co-locate the staff and free-up prime museum space for the new and expanded exhibits and displays.
• Enhancement to the museum’s surrounding campus – This will include expansion of outdoor event space, especially for the annual Enshrinement Festival events.
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