The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was started by some of the biggest executives in the music business, with the goal of recognizing prominent names in rock and roll history. Although it began inducting band members into the Hall of Fame as of 1986, the Foundation had no real home until Cleveland offered $65 million in state money to fund the project.
On September 1, 1995, the ribbon was cut in a ceremony attended by Yoko Ono, Little Richard and others. Chuck Berry, Al Green and Billy Joel all performed at that first concert.
Since opening its doors, an estimated 8.5 million people have walked through its doors for a cumulative economic impact of $1.8 billion. The building was designed by I.M. Pei, and engineered by Leslie E. Robertson Associates. A tower measuring 162 feet stands over the shores of Lake Erie. The Hall of Fame features seven levels, with exhibition halls that cover every genre of music and a stage to host performances.
The building is shaped a bit like a tent, with very bold shapes that feature prominently over a 65,000 square foot plaza. With more than 55,000 square feet of exhibition space, the designer felt the boldness of the architecture, coupled with its open space, echoed the passion of the rock and rollers represented there.
John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Janis Joplin and more prominent artists have been featured at the Hall of Fame, with classic exhibits that dip into Bluegrass or country. Folk singers like Bob Dylan are also featured, and chronicled extensively in the halls of the museum.
About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or Twitter.