200 Years on Display at PRM

Feb 2, 2018

The Peoria Riverfront Museum debuts a new display Saturday. The Bicentennial Exhibit includes more than 200 objects. 

The curator at the Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College has been selected as its new director.

Jerry Huddleston / Flickr

McDonald's Corp. has announced it will demolish a suburban Chicago museum that's a replica of Ray Kroc's first restaurant.

An Illinois museum has opened a theater where visitors can have conversations with Holocaust survivors through 3-D holograms and sophisticated voice recognition technology.

A central Illinois museum that honors those who served in the Korean War has closed.

An exhibit on the Harlem Renaissance has opened at the African-American Cultural and Genealogical Society Museum of Illinois in Decatur.

Wheels O' Time Museum

This week, we're talking with Marcia Johnson, from the Wheels O' Time Museum.

She talks about some of the museum's special exhibits and event for the summer. The River and Rails exhibit includes a 1/8th-scale model of a locomotive that was that was in use in Peoria for many years.

She also updates us on the progress of a steel house. The house has been moved from its prior location on Grant Street, and is currently undergoing repairs before it goes on display.

The museum at Southern Illinois University has become another casualty of Illinois legislators' failure to come up with a state budget.

Flickr Creative Commons/Charles Carper

Cantigny Park outside Chicago, once the private estate of a former publisher of the Chicago Tribune, will be getting a face lift over the next five years.  Executive Director Matt LaFond says the $25 million project will create new gardens and renovate museums in the Wheaton park. He says the privately funded project is the largest comprehensive update to the gardens and grounds since the park opened in July 1958.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The CEO of the Peoria Riverfront Museum is departing after nearly three years at the helm. Sam Gappmayer is leaving to be the director of John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He arrived at Peoria Riverfront Museum just after it had reported a deficit and lower than expected attendance numbers in its first year of operation.

Bradley University

The Illinois Women Artists Project has a new administrative home at Bradley University. The project was founded, and previously operated independently by, Channy Lyons. Lyons is also the producer of the Peoria’s Hidden Treasures series on WCBU.

Wheels O' Time Museum

This week, we're talking with Bobbie Rice, from the Wheels O' Time Museum. She talks about some of the items in the museum's permanent collection, and the rotating exhibits that are featured in July and August. The latter include a collection of tractors, and a set of three military vehicles. She also talks about ongoing restoration efforts at the museum, and about how they make decisions about new acquisitions.

Chris Smith/Out of Chicago / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - The head of the Obama Foundation told Chicago business and civic leaders the city needs to get its house in order to effectively attract visitors from around the world.

 Martin Nesbitt made the assertion Tuesday as he discussed the development of President Barack Obama's library and museum, which is projected to open in five years.


Nesbitt noted he was speaking to the City Club of Chicago as 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was being buried. The boy was gunned down last week in what police say was a targeted gang shooting. 

Chicago's City Council will vote next week on plans for a lakefront museum that will be financed by filmmaker George Lucas.  The "Star Wars" director is planning a 300-thousand-square-foot facility along Lake Michigan. 

Peoria County Board approves Scott Sorrel for top post

May 14, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria County Board approved Scott Sorrel as permanent Administrator last night.

Peoria garden hopes to grow local food interest

May 7, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is taking a green-thumb approach to boost interest in the local environment.  

An effort is underway to create a museum featuring innovations developed in Champaign County.

A Chicago federal judge says a civil suit seeking to block George Lucas' museum from being built along Lake Michigan can proceed.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has introduced an ordinance that would allow the transfer of park district land to the city for use by an Obama presidential library.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum saw a surge in donations and sponsorships last fiscal year compared to what it budgeted. But the facility also had to draw $680,000 more from its reserves to cover operations than it planned. Museum President Sam Gappmayer says the deficit only lasted the first six months of the year. He says the museum made adjustments to land itself in the black for the remainder of the fiscal year:

Movie museum creates disturbance in the force

Jun 25, 2014

Some aldermen are raising concerns about building a George Lucas movie museum along Chicago’s Lakefront.  

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is considering free deck parking for patrons. That’s the message from museum President Sam Gappmayer. He says he’s also asking the Peoria County museum committee to approve installing an automated parking system at the deck entrance. Gappmayer says the museum is paying five-thousand-dollars more to pay a staff member to collect parking fees versus what it brings in:

Longtime Peoria museum planetarium curator retires

Feb 4, 2014

The Peoria Riverfront Museum has announced a new curator for its Planetarium.  The museum says Renae Kerrigan will replace retired Curator and Education Director, Sheldon Schafer.  

Riverfront Museum CEO shares goals to boost revenue

Jan 29, 2014

The Peoria Riverfront Museum needs to do a better job of writing grants and booking rental space to boost revenue.  That’s the message from new museum President Sam Gappmayer.  Museum attendance also came in under original projections.  Gappmayer says museum consultants can over estimate attendance numbers:

The Peoria Riverfront Museum turns a year-old this weekend.  Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports the facility is planning special events and marketing to boost attendance:

Riverfront Museum scales back goals

Aug 27, 2013

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is scaling back its attendance goal this year following a lower-than-expected visitor count since opening in October.  Nearly 25-percent fewer people than expected visited the museum through June.  Museum Board President Dave Ransburg says the low number also means the museum had to use nearly twice as much money as expected from private donations to fill its spending gap last fiscal year:

Peoria Riverfront Museum gets LEED Gold Certified

Jul 17, 2013

The Peoria Riverfront Museum has LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The certification is an international standard that says the building is both environmentally and energy efficient. Some green features include solar panels, recycled floor materials and electric car chargers. Museum visitors can also take a tour of the building that highlights its sustainable features. The PRM LEED Gold Certification is the first such designation in the area.   

Peoria County voters approved a one percent sales tax increase to build the Peoria Riverfront museum in 2009.  Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports that both Peoria County Board members and the museum’s president have seemingly different views on dollars generated from the tax:

County Board member Steve Morris says museum president Jim Richerson brought up the quarter cent sales tax in March:

One Peoria County Board member is calling for the Peoria Riverfront Museum to give updates during committee meetings.  


Riverfront Museum finances in question

Apr 17, 2013

The Peoria Riverfront Museum plans to comply with its contractual obligation to provide financial data to the county. So says museum president Jim Richerson.  County staff say the museum is months overdue in providing last fiscal year’s audit and other tax forms. Richerson says the audit from last fiscal year isn’t finished because it involves the colossal transition from Lakeview to the new organization that complicates the finances. Some close to the situation say the museum is running a monthly operating deficit. Richerson says he cannot answer that: