Hitting the road: Rock Hall gets a Manhattan transfer


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is hitting the road.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that the Cleveland-based museum is opening an annex in Manhattan. It is the first of several planned outposts that will take its collection of artifacts to a wider audience, possibly as far as the Middle East.

Billy Joel and Clive Davis joined the mayor at the SoHo location where the branch will open in November.

The 25,000-square-foot annex will house Bruce Springsteen's 1957 Chevy and feature a number of exhibits, including one with sites around the city that have musical significance.

Officials are counting on the branches to provide new revenue streams, attract more philanthropy dollars and entice more people to visit the Rock Hall in Cleveland.

Another annex being planned for Las Vegas will be located on or near the Strip and will be less focused on rock artifacts and more entertainment-oriented, according to Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the rock museum. A city has not been selected for the proposed Middle East branch.

The annexes mark the museum's first effort to build a presence outside of Cleveland. The New York venue will be open for at least two years, longer if it proves successful. It's backed financially by Running Subway Prods.

Among the planned exhibits is "New York Rocks," dedicated to such Big Apple artists as Joel and Talking Heads' David Byrne. The exhibit will feature an interactive map of musically significant Manhattan locations including Studio 54 and the Chelsea Hotel, whose guests and residents have included many famous musicians.

The front awning and cash register of the recently closed club CBGB also will be on display.

Associated Press