Call the New Jersey Hall of Fame the Island of Misfit Museums. It’s been waiting for a real home for quite some time. The first year of inductees was 2008, 14 years ago, and includes Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen. But the Hall of Fame was more of an idea than a place.

In 2013 came the mobile museum. It was a double-expandable trailer and sure it was designed by one of their own inductees, the famous architect from Princeton Michael Graves, but it was kind of like the New Jersey Hall of Fame was a homeless friend living out of his car.

In 2017 a wall of fame with posters and five holograms opened at Newark Liberty International Airport in an NJHOF satellite exhibit.

Finally in 2018, it was announced that a permanent physical home for it was being built at American Dream. The Meadowlands project has been in the works for years. Is anything at American Dream ever on time?

But it’s been announced that the New Jersey Hall of Fame will break ground this spring followed by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony this fall. What’s planned is an ambitious 10,000-square-foot museum dedicated to the many accomplishments of famous New Jerseyans from various fields.

What’s being billed as an interactive entertainment and learning center will have as its centerpiece a Model T car given to Thomas Edison by Henry Ford in 1933 along with a holographic karaoke stage and a moon flight simulator (Buzz Aldrin is, after all, a member).

In a written statement, the New Jersey Hall of Fame proclaimed, “NJHOF at American Dream will be one of the ultimate symbols of Jersey pride where we will be able to celebrate who we are as a people; where we can take pride in our Jersey grit; and where we can all, including our children, be inspired to realize our highest and best sense of selves.”

Geez, that’s a lot of pressure. Can’t I just look at a Whitney Houston display?

The permanent home will be located next to DreamWorks Water Park and Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park.

So will this really happen this year? Let’s hope. But it’s not been an easy time for American Dream. Earlier this month came the business news that the developer had to withdraw $9,286,082.87 from its account to cover the debt, leaving only $820.23.

That’s not a typo. Yet they say they’re confident things will improve. For the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s sake let’s hope American Dream has some of the Jersey grit that was talked about in the press release.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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