LAS VEGAS, USA /PRNewswire/ The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, invites the public to “uncover the real life battle between organized crime and law enforcement” when it opens on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2012. Located in downtown Las Vegas, The Mob Museum seeks to present an authentic view of the mob’s impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on the world.
One of the Mob Museum’s centerpiece artifacts is the brick wall from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The Museum will open on the 83rd anniversary of the infamous Massacre, considered one of the most significant dates in Mob history.
With “tales so intriguing they need no embellishment,” The Mob Museum reveals an insider’s look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle between organized crime and law enforcement. True stories of mob history are brought to life in a bold and contemporary style via engaging exhibits and multi-sensory experiences. The Mob Museum puts the visitor in the middle of the action through high-tech theater presentations, iconic one-of-a-kind artifacts and interactive, themed environments.
The Museum’s board of directors is headed by Ellen Knowlton, former FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas Division, and a 24-year FBI veteran. The Mob Museum boasts a highly respected board including professionals from local and state government, law enforcement, the judicial system, media and the business community. A key visionary for the project and current board member is former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, a previous go-to defense attorney who made a name for himself representing such reputed mobsters as Meyer Lansky, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Anthony Spilotro, among others.
Artifacts to be integrated throughout the Museum’s interactive exhibits provide an insider’s look into many of organized crime’s biggest names, including, Alphonse Capone, Dion O’Bannion, George Moran, Charlie Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Ben Siegel, Sam Giancana, Joe Bonanno, Frank Rosenthal, Mickey Cohen, Tony Cornero and Tony Spilotro to name a few. The Museum is located in what many consider the ultimate artifact, the former federal courthouse and United States Post Office. Completed in 1933 and listed on the Nevada and National Registers of Historic Places, it housed the very courtroom where, in 1950, one of 14 national Kefauver hearings was held to expose and control organized crime in America. Meticulously rehabilitated for The Mob Museum, the building is significant not only for its neo-classical architecture reminiscent of the period in which it was built, but also for the historic events that unfolded inside of it.
The Museum is also working with the FBI and many famous undercover agents who made a career of fighting the Mob, including legendary agents Joe Pistone who infiltrated the Mob posing as a small time jewel thief, Donnie Brasco; and Cuban-born Jack Garcia who successfully ingrained himself into the Gambino family.
In addition, many items relating to historic eras and specific industries, such as prohibition, money laundering and gaming, will help to tell the story of the mob’s influence on these areas. Items and artifacts relating to law enforcement’s role in helping to eradicate and control the Mob, such as weapons, wiretapping tools and tactics and crime scene photos, will also be part of The Museum.
The Mob Museum, a $42 million construction project funded by the city of Las Vegas and nearly $9 million in historic preservation grants – including federal, state and local – is under construction at 300 Stewart Avenue in downtown Las Vegas. The building was dedicated on November 27, 1933 as the city’s first federal building. As part of the construction and rehabilitation of the building, the courtroom is being restored to appear as it did in 1950 during the famed Kefauver hearings, named for Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver.
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. It is being designed by a world-class team known for other successful museums that serve to reinvigorate communities and neighborhoods, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio and the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. This highly experienced team of staff, board members and consultants are working together to create one of the city’s major attractions and a must-see for millions of tourists and locals alike.