THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — The Universal Hip Hop Museum is one step closer to completion.
Organizers on Wednesday celebrated the completion of the building’s structure. The museum is expected to be a cultural anchor point in the Bronx, but there is still much more work to be done before it officially opens to the public.
“Today is a celebration just to really say thank you to all the elected officials and all the supporters of this project because without their support, this would not be happening,” said Rocky Bucano, founder and executive director of the Universal Hip Hop Museum.
Millions of dollars have already been allocated to the project, but about $5 million in additional funding is needed to complete the interior. Officials say the institution will be a global tourist attraction honoring the birthplace of hip hop.
Former Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is now a board member for the museum.
“To the whole planet – if you listen to hip hop music, if you love hip hop, if you really want to celebrate the culture, if you really want to celebrate the pioneers – it’s time for you to help us by putting whatever money you can to action so that we can make this another 50 years of hip hop,” Diaz said.
Pioneering beatboxer Doug E. Fresh also attended Wednesday’s ceremony. “Hip hop saved lives. Hip hop changed lives. Hip hop has made a major difference in the world,” Doug E. Fresh said.
The museum will be more than 50,000 square feet. Above it will be more than 500 permanently affordable housing units in view of the Harlem River. The waterfront development used to sit on vacant land. The apartments are expected to be completed next year with the museum finished the year after in 2024.