The Mob Museum Opens in Las Vegas With Plenty of True Stories

Tuesday, February 28 2012 08:18   Museums
The Mob Museum, dedicated to tell the story of the real life battle between organized crime and law enforcement, is now open and what better place to call home than Las Vegas.

Opening on the anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, The Mob Museum, formally known as the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas. It presents an exciting and authentic view of the Mob's impact on Las Vegas history and its unique imprint on the world.

mob_museum_building1With tales so intriguing they need no embellishment, the museum reveals an insider's look at the events and people on both sides of this continuing battle. 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 acquired some of the most iconic artifacts in mob history including the brick wall from the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and the barber chair where Albert Anastasia was sitting when he was murdered.

The opening date was the 83rd anniversary of the infamous massacre, considered one of the most significant days in Mob history, during which seven men affiliated with the Bugs Moran gang were murdered by the South Side Italian gang led by Al Capone.

Artifacts 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 "Lucky" Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Ben Siegel, Sam Giancana, Joe Bonanno, Frank Rosenthal, Mickey Cohen, Tony Cornero, Whitey Bulger and John Gotti to name just a few.

massacrewall_jeffgreen2"The Mob Museum is a world-class destination created by a team of researchers and creative experts who are the best in their respective fields," said Jonathan Ullman, executive director of The Mob Museum.  "The end result is a modern and contemporary look at a subject that continues to fascinate the world.  And it's a story that has no end because organized crime continues to evolve and impact our global economy even today."

The Mob Museum is a modern-day museum and offers highly experiential and interactive experiences. Fascinating stories are brought to life through one-of-a-kind artifacts, interactive touch screens and unique ways to engage with law enforcement and organized crime materials. For example, Mob Museum visitors can "shoot" a simulated tommy gun, listen in on real FBI surveillance tapes on wiretapping equipment and take part in FBI weapons training.

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.

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 houses the very courtroom where one of 14 national Kefauver hearings was held in 1950 to expose 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, 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, are also shown.

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 located at 300 Stewart Avenue in downtown Las Vegas.

The building was dedicated on Nov. 27, 1933 as the city's first federal building. As part of the construction and rehabilitation of the building, the courtroom was restored to appear as it did in 1950 during the famed Kefauver hearings, named for Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver.

The museum was 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.

Admission is $18 for adults ages 18 and over; $12 for children ages 5 to 17 and students ages 18 to 23 with ID; $14 for seniors, military, law enforcement and teachers; and $10 for Nevada residents of all ages. Museum hours are Sundays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

For more information, call (702) 229-2734 or visit the Web site at .


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