The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting will transform the former Bethany Station, a 30,000 sq. ft. building originally designed as the world’s most powerful radio transmission facility, into an educational resource for the region and the nation. Using a concept master plan developed by the acclaimed Jack Rouse and Associates, the facility will use state of the art displays and interactive experiences to relate the story of the Voice of America. Incorporating other related collections from Media Heritage and the Gray History of Wireless Museum, the new facility will have content of interest to wide demographic segments and age groups.
The development will be phased over several years as support is generated and construction and program design work is completed. Phase One calls for the construction of an event, meeting and exhibit center at the museum designed as a place to host meetings, lectures, and traveling displays. The 2,400 sq. ft. multi-purpose room will have a new ADA compliant entrance and modifications will be made to the building allowing barrier-free access to the main exhibit and meeting areas. Two modern rest rooms will also be added.
Phase Two will modify the main transmitter room which once housed the six high power short wave transmitters. This area will be the main exhibition concourse. The space will be restored to the ambiance of the 1940s, complete with the original second level observation platform located off the main lobby. The main exhibit space will feature an 8,000+ open area and another 5,000 sq. ft. of smaller display room. Archival and support offices will occupy the second floor of the main building. There will still be some 3,000 sq. ft. of undeveloped space.
Funding is being sought for Phase One of the plan and requires an investment of about $1 million.