It took 14 years, but the much-anticipated Jackie Robinson Museum finally opened at 75 Varick Street in Hudson Square earlier this week.
The 19,380-square-foot space was designed by architecture firm Gensler and features a permanent exhibition space, a classroom and rotating galleries that play host to 40,000 historical images and over 4,000 artifacts that celebrate the late Robinson, who was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.
Visitors will also get to explore an immersive experience “to better understand the racism and prejudice Robinson encountered beyond the baseball field, as well as stories of his lasting influence on sports, politics and entertainment today,” reads an official press release.
Among the many items on display will be the Presidential Medal of Freedom that Robinson received posthumously in 1984, his United States Army uniform and an original Baseball Hall of Fame plaque. Expect a gift shop and educational programming for all ages to round out your trip to the new museum.
As fans of the civil rights icon know, the new cultural destination was developed by the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which was set up back in 1973 by the now 100-year-old Rachel Robinson, Jackie's wife, a professor and registered nurse. The foundation seeks to promote higher education.
"The Jackie Robinson Museum is the realization of a dream for my family. My mother has long hoped for a permanent space where people learn about the issues my father cared deeply about and the change he fought hard to affect," said David Robinson, Jackie's son, in an official statement. "We hope the Museum will be a place to not only learn more about his time in baseball and love of sports, but about all that he did to contribute to social progress. We extend our deepest appreciation to everyone who helped make this dream a reality."