Interior of Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum to Be Completely Renovated
The exterior will retain the same dignified look as the rest of the buildings on Little League International’s 72-acre complex, but the interior of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum will be completely transformed over the next two years as Little League approaches its Diamond Anniversary.
Little League has engaged Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., (C7A) to redesign all the exhibits and perform the architectural work needed on the 30-year-old museum. A general contractor has not yet been selected for the $4 million project.
The “new” museum is scheduled to be unveiled on June 6, 2013, which will mark 74 years to the day since the first Little League game was played in Williamsport – a date recognized as the founding of the program by the late Carl E. Stotz. The Little League Museum was opened in 1982 to house the archives of the organization, and to inform the public about Little League’s past and present.
The museum re-opening will kick off a 14-month celebration of the Little League’s 75th anniversary, culminating with the Little League Baseball World Series in August 2014.
When the museum opened 30 years ago, it featured cutting-edge technology of the time, such as laser discs, mechanical switches, and pushbutton displays. Much of that technology is now either too costly to maintain on a regular basis, or is simply no longer serviceable. Every year, 20,000 to 30,000 people visit the museum.
“Since the Little League Museum opened in 1982, it has really never been completely updated, so this work is long overdue,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “And with the 75th anniversary of the founding of our program approaching, we’re pleased to be able to engage a prestigious firm like Cambridge Seven Associates, to help us to redefine how we tell the Little League story in new and exciting ways.”
Cambridge Seven Associates is a world-renowned design and architectural firm that has led the design work on dozens of museums and halls of fame around the world. Recent major projects the firm has worked on include: Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary, Alberta; The Hall at Patriots Place in Foxboro, Mass (the New England Patriots’ Hall of Fame); the Science Museum & Geo-Climate Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame – Sports Legends at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md.; the American National Fish & Wildlife Museum in Springfield, Mo.; and exhibits for the Statue of Liberty at Liberty Island in New York.
“Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc., is thrilled and honored to be partnering with Little League International on this dynamic project,” said Timothy Mansfield AIA, Principal at C7A. “As a coach and father to a Little Leaguer for six years, our appreciation for the game of baseball and Little League itself is very, very real for us. We look forward to bringing this passion to the new exhibits!”
The rendering of the proposed entrance to the Little League Museum that includes a ticket counter/information center and gift shop.
In the coming months, Cambridge Seven will be working with Little League staff to develop the new exhibits, which will include more economical use of the existing space in the museum, a new and more efficient foot-traffic flow, hands-on and interactive experiences for adults and children, mini-theaters, extensive use of video throughout the museum, and more.
The upper floor of the museum will house all exhibits on more than 8,000 square feet of floor space. Included will be an enlarged and enhanced Little League Store that will be available for museum patrons, as well as those who simply want to shop for merchandise and souvenirs, year around. The lower level will house museum offices and archives.
The focus of the museum will shift from simply telling the story of Little League’s past to a more dynamic presentation of how Little League has intertwined with U.S. and world history, and even helped to shape it. Additional emphasis will be placed on the educational components of the museum, which is visited by more than a thousand Pennsylvania school children on field trips each year.
The museum also will tell the reasons Little League became the world’s largest and most respected youth sports program, why it is held in such high esteem today, and why it will remain the best choice for communities around the world in the future. The goal will be to use the museum as a way to reinforce the concept that having a local Little League program in their community is the best choice.
The main floor of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum will be completely renovated with cutting-edge technology and displays. The proposed layout and traffic pattern for visitors is illustrated in the graphic above.
“We envision the new exhibits for the Little League Museum will originate from the essence the game itself,” said Peter Sollogub, Exhibit Design Principal at C7A. “The Little League story will unfold in an exhibit response that flows directly from the concept of the six inning game. The exhibits will be comprised of a rich mixture of authentic Little League heritage, artifacts and images, cutting-edge interactives and immersive media. All this will combine to bring home the global mission and experience of Little League Baseball and Softball.”
The museum will likely close soon after the 2012 Little League Baseball World Series, and will remain closed throughout the winter and spring as work progresses into 2013.