Home Street musicians Carmel Eyes site north of Palladium for the Great American Songbook museum project • Current Publishing

Carmel Eyes site north of Palladium for the Great American Songbook museum project • Current Publishing


A drawing showing the possible extent of the Great American Songbook museum project at the northeast corner of City Center Drive and 3rd Ave. SW. The final design and size of the museum has not been determined. (Drawing courtesy of the City of Carmel)

Cleveland is home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville, Tenn., Has the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard is hoping his city will soon be famous for hosting a museum showcasing the Great American Songbook.

The City of Carmel, through the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, is considering two plots for the museum on 3.7 acres at the northeast corner of City Center Drive and 3rd Ave. SW – just north of the Palladium – which houses Salon01 and an industrial building that houses Laser Flash and Magnetic Concepts.

Brainard said CRC will soon discuss spending $ 4.8 million to purchase the industrial building, valued at $ 5 million. He said the city is still in negotiations over the Salon01 building, but expects an agreement to be reached soon.

The city plans to use the funds from the bonds approved in May for the acquisition of land to purchase the plots. When this happens, the city’s involvement in the project will be almost complete. Building construction and museum operations will be funded by the Great American Songbook Foundation, donations and grants.

Chris Lewis, executive director of the Great American Songbook, said the project team is in the early stages of planning for the museum and its size, appearance, cost and other details have yet to be determined. It is too early to predict when construction could begin or when the museum would open, he said.

“It will take time,” Lewis said. “While we’ve always dreamed of a museum, we haven’t really sat down to determine the vision.”

Lewis said that an architectural drawing used by Brainard to show the possible scope of the museum is not a final design for the building. Brainard said he expects the design to change but thinks it’s important the museum complements the Palladium and the rest of the Center for the Performing Arts.

“This building will hopefully be right across the street and be part of this complex, so it’s essential that the architecture of this building is beautiful,” said Brainard, who expects that the museum attracts thousands of visitors per day during its busiest period. times.

Carmel has been home to the Great American Songbook Foundation for over a decade. The foundation is committed to preserving the history of American standards produced from the 1920s to the 1960s, and it has long had a goal of creating a museum to fulfill this mission. The foundation is currently housed at the Palladium, where it has a dedicated exhibition space. She previously kept her archives there but moved them several years ago due to space constraints.

Although the museum will focus on the Songbook era, it will also aim to educate visitors on how these songs have influenced modern musicians.

“The museum itself will be an interactive and dynamic place where people can come and celebrate American music, regardless of their personal repertoire,” said Lewis. “Maybe they’re a Frank Sinatra fan, or a Bruce Springsteen fan, or a Lizzo fan.”

Lewis said the foundation received high marks on the first two of five readiness assessments through the American Alliance of Museums, designed for organizations looking to open a museum, and planned to begin the next phase early. from 2022.

The foundation has been a cultural affiliate of the Grammy Museum since 2017, and Lewis said the foundation will soon reach an agreement for the Grammy Museum to provide consultants, programming and exhibits as the museum prepares to open.

Learn more, including how to donate to the foundation, at Songbook.org.