World-Class Design Team Putting Las Vegas Mob Museum on The Map

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Many of the individuals and firms responsible for design and creative content of such renowned projects as the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland are heading up the design team for the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement - aka “The Mob Museum.”

Many of the individuals and firms responsible for design and creative content of such renowned projects as the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland are heading up the design team for the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement - aka “The Mob Museum.” An interactive museum dedicated to the history of organized crime and the battles waged against the mob by law enforcement, The Mob Museum recounts the real stories of organized crime's impact on Las Vegas and its unique imprint on America and the world.

Leading the museum’s design team is Dennis Barrie, PhD., director of cultural and interpretive planning for Westlake Reed Leskosky (WRL), a nationally recognized integrated design and engineering firm headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. WRL’s portfolio includes more than 200 properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The firm is providing content planning, architecture, engineering, LEED/sustainable design consultation, museum operations and planning services, exhibit procurement and design for The Mob Museum.

Barrie, best known as the co-creator of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland and the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., is an internationally distinguished museum director, cultural historian and an expert in popular culture whose career includes 11 years with the Smithsonian Institution and eight years as the director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center.

Patrick Gallagher of Gallagher & Associations, an interdisciplinary design firm that creates visitor experiences and graphic packages for public and private museums, is overseeing exhibit design. The Bethesda, Maryland firm has created exhibits for the Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg, Virginia and Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center in Normandy, France, among others. The firm prepared master plans for the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York and the National Postal Museum in Washington, D. C.

Robert J. Chattel of Chattel Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Inc. of Sherman Oaks, California, is consulting preservation architect on the project. Chattel co-authored the museum’s 2004 feasibility and adaptive use study and is responsible for ensuring conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and coordinating historic review with all governmental agencies.

Kathleen Hickey Barrie of Barrie Projects, a Cleveland, Ohio firm she founded in 2005, is overseeing research and content for the museum including curation and collection of artifacts. She is a museum specialist with a 30-year history of museum, civic, arts and cultural experiences and is a former vice president of exhibition development and design at The Malrite Company, where she oversaw research and content for the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.

According to Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Y. Barlow, the museum, which is currently under construction inside the historic federal courthouse and post office at 300 Stewart Street in downtown Las Vegas, is on track for a spring 2011 opening. The museum is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors and is easily a key component of the city’s downtown redevelopment efforts, he said.

“Given the world-wide fascination with organized crime and the stellar design team behind the project, we are confident The Mob Museum will readily become a must-see for millions of tourists and locals alike,” said Barlow. “The Museum is projected to generate revenues of more than $13 million per year and will be a boon to surrounding development. Both the International Spy Museum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are highly compelling, successful and popular museums that have significantly improved the communities and neighborhoods in which they are located. We expect the same for The Mob Museum.”

According to Ellen Knowlton, president of 300 Stewart Avenue Corporation, the non-profit board that is working alongside the city of Las Vegas to oversee development and construction of the museum, years of work and planning are coming to fruition as the museum begins to take shape.

“The goal of the museum is to tell the real and full story of organized crime and how law enforcement defeated and continues to battle the mob,” said Knowlton, a 24-year FBI veteran who previously headed up the FBI’s efforts in Las Vegas as the former FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas Division.

Core and shell construction are 30 percent complete just eight months following the August 2009 “wall-breaking” by museum board members, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman and former U.S. Senator, Richard Bryan. Interior demolition and hazardous materials removal is nearing completion and new construction is underway.

About The Mob Museum
The Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement – The Mob Museum – is a world-class museum dedicated to the history of organized crime and law enforcement now under development in downtown Las Vegas. The museum will present the real stories and actual events of mob history via interactive and engaging exhibits that reveal all sides of the story, with considerable focus on how law enforcement defeated and continues to battle organized crime. Located at 300 Stewart Avenue, inside an historic and former post office and federal court house, the museum is an important component of the city’s downtown redevelopment now underway and is projected to generate a combined economic output of more than $62.3 million during construction, employ approximately 227 individuals during construction, and generate annual visitation of hundreds of thousands tourists to the museum and downtown Las Vegas when it opens in 2011. The 41,000-square-foot Mob Museum includes approximately 16,800 square feet of exhibition space on three floors in addition to a specialty retail store, special event areas, educational areas and office space. The Mob Museum is expected to cost approximately $42 million to construct and is being funded through local, state and federal grants, in addition to matching grants and Redevelopment Agency funding sources that can only be spent in the city’s redevelopment area. The city of Las Vegas, which is currently overseeing the museum’s early development, owns the building and the land on which it sits. Ellen Knowlton, former FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas Division, and a 24-year FBI veteran, is president of 300 Stewart Avenue Corporation, a non-profit board formed to oversee the Museum’s development and operations. Contact: Melissa Warren, Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations 702-528-6016

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Eryn Rice-Sebelius
Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations
702-933-7777 ext. 311
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