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Local News

Organizers of rock museum announce Joliet locations

The building at 9 West Cass street sits vacant Monday, May 6, 2019, in Joliet, Ill. The building will be the future site of the Illinois Rock and Roll Museum.
The building at 9 West Cass street sits vacant Monday, May 6, 2019, in Joliet, Ill. The building will be the future site of the Illinois Rock and Roll Museum.

A future home has been found for the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 planned for downtown.

The organizers of the project have announced that the museum will go into a three-story building at 9 W. Cass St.

The goal is to open in May 2020, Ron Romero, a New Lenox resident who is chairman of the board for the museum, said Monday.

The group has some work to do on the building, which Romero said is in good condition, but needs some renovations.

“Despite needing a face-lift, the architect we hired said it’s a solid building,” he said. “We know we have a lot of cosmetic work to do.”

The group announced the location at a Friday fundraiser that attracted about 300 people, Romero said.

Romero said the museum group expects to complete the acquisition of the building in the next several weeks and begin work soon.

“We’re in the process of closing – probably in the next 30 days,” he said.

The museum will be devoted to Illinois contributions to rock ’n’ roll music. The location in downtown Joliet is intended to take advantage of Route 66 tourism that passes through town and add to local attractions, which include the Route 66 Welcome Center at the Joliet Area Historical Museum.

The group has been working on the project since at least 2017, when Romero announced the plan at a Joliet City Council meeting.

Artifacts are still being collected to be displayed on the first two floors of the building, Romero said. The third floor would be used as a multipurpose facility, including training for musicians and community events.

The Will County Model Railroad Association now in the basement of the building will remain, Romero said.

Romero, who also heads Stage Right Productions and plays bass in two local bands, is part of a 15-member board that includes Deborah Erickson, chairwoman of the Illinois Route 66 Red Carpet Corridor, and Tony Contos, former director of the Joliet Area Historical Museum.

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