Jackie Robinson Museum
Following nearly 15 years of planning, construction, and fundraising, The Jackie Robinson Museum (JRM) is open. In partnership with Zubatkin, Gensler, ME Engineering, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), Structure Tone transformed the ground floor of 75 Varick Street into a space dedicated to the remarkable life and legacy of the legend who became the first African American to play Major League Baseball in 1947.
Featuring 4,500 artifacts and 40,000 historical images, the museum highlights the Brooklyn Dodgers legend and his contribution to both sports and life at large in a renovated space that features permanent exhibitions and interactive displays, flexible event areas with retracting walls, and a reference library. Construction of the space included additional facilities, such as a reception lobby with coat check, museum store and gift shop, pantry and warming kitchen, theater, and additional classrooms.
The outside of the museum is just as cool as the inside, with an outer glass façade and public entrances on both Canal and Varick Streets. To craft an exterior display, Structure Tone’s project team worked with the exhibit designers and specialty subcontractors to install an architectural metal pan ceiling to showcase polycarbonate panels with a graphic overlay—creating a custom scrim wall that wraps around the perimeter and is visible from Canal Street.
An Immersive Experience
JRM’s exhibits evoke an excitement befitting the man himself. An immersive, media-based experience featuring interactive exhibits, rare artifacts, and additional memorabilia allows visitors to better understand the racism and prejudice Robinson encountered and learn about his lasting influence on sports, politics, and entertainment. Leveraging the project team’s expertise in museum and digital experience design and installation, the museum realizes JRF’s goal to preserve the legacy of one of the most important Americans of the 20th century and creates an impactful experience for visitors and the surrounding community.
Enhancing its parent foundation’s mission of promoting higher education, JRM features over 11,000sf space for permanent and changing exhibitions, meant to educate, inspire, and challenge. The new museum joins JRF Scholarship and JRF IMPACT, an online community for Black college students, as one of three core initiatives of the foundation. Lectures, forums, and other events that tackle issues central to Robinson’s legacy will also be put on at the museum.