NJ.com- The New Jersey Hall of Fame, the mobile museum that celebrates New Jersey greats -- from Harriet Tubman to Buzz Aldrin, Yogi Berra and Bruce Springsteen to Carli Lloyd and Albert Einstein -- is preparing to move into its permanent home at American Dream.
Jon Hanson, chairman of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, says it will occupy a 7,500 to 10,000 square foot space and be represented in four pop-up exhibits scattered throughout the 3-million-square-foot entertainment and shopping development.
The New Jersey Hall of Fame was founded in 2008 and will induct it’s 11th class of honorees Oct. 27 at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park. Among those being inducted are “Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin, a Bayonne native; Actor Jason Alexander, of Livingston; Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart; and The Smithereens (Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, Mike Mesaros, and the late Pat DiNizio), of Carteret and Scotch Plains.
While Hanson was tight-lipped on which of New Jersey’s most famous residents would be featured in the museum’s exhibits, he did say they and the pop-ups will be interactive.
For example, he said, you might be able to go inside a pop-up exhibit and do karaoke with a famous New Jersey singer.
“We’re exploring that concept,” Hanson said.
But it’s not all about noteworthy people from New Jersey. Hanson said they’re also looking at the businesses in New Jersey that have had a big impact on the state’s cities -- Prudential, he said, didn’t pull out of Newark after the 1967 riots and has had a hand in shaping the city over the past 50 years. In New Brunswick, Johnson & Johnson and in Camden, The Campbell Soup Company have done the same.
“Those are three corporations that are generational and bigger than any one person and should be considered for the Hall of Fame,” Hanson said.
The Hall of Fame will be one of more than a dozen entertainment venues at American Dream, which will be 55 percent entertainment and 45 percent retail. And it will present programming 365 days a year, said Steve Edwards, president of the NJ Hall of Fame, including celebrating inductees birthdays, book signings, concerts, educational forums and inductee broadcast interviews.
“It’s very important that the 21st Century museum have a robust program schedule that is engaging and inspirational for our year round museum guests,” Edwards said.
These programs will occur in the museum, at the pop up exhibits and in general exhibition space at the complex, he said.
The Hall of Fame’s current home is a 53-foot, double expandable trailer that can fold out to 850 square feet. It’s parked on the American Dream work site, across from the former Izod Center.
The Hall of Fame has fundraised $10 million for its permanent location at American Dream.