New to Open Thursday, May 17 in Downtown Nashville
$37 million facility expected to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year
May 2001 (Newstream) -- The grand opening of the new $37 million Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville will be held Thursday, May 17 before a crowd of celebrities, industry executives and country music fans.
The opening is scheduled for 9 a.m. with a ceremonial procession, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony that will include speeches and songs from performing artists such as George Jones, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Emmy Lou Harris and Kathy Mattea. Hall of Fame members Charley Pride and Kitty Wells cut the ribbon to open the doors. The building is free and open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Ground was broken for the new building in June 1999. Workers from American Constructors built the facility, based on plans from Nashville architectural firm Tuck Hinton and nationally recognized museum design firm Ralph Applebaum and Associates.
The 137,000-square-foot facility includes the Ford Theater, a 5,300-square-foot, 213-seat theater created, in part, by a $4 million donation from Ford Division - Ford Motor Company; the 11,000-square-foot Curb Conservatory; three additional theaters, a restaurant and a gift shop. Throughout the exhibit areas, visitors will find state-of-the-art interactive kiosks and listening stations, including a station where visitors can burn their own CDs.
Through new films, vintage video clips, live performances, dramatic exhibits, and lots of music, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will present the epic story of country music from its 19th century Southern origins to its 21st century global popularity. The new museum is a state-of-the-art cultural tourist destination estimated to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.