Play space: The Strong breaks ground on 90,000 square expansion in Rochester


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Officials from the Strong National Museum of Play broke ground Wednesday on the second phase of its transformational expansion project; a 90,000 square-foot wing that will be the centerpiece of the new Neighborhood of Play.

The expansion will include the new museum wing, an outdoor play exhibit inspired by board games, a gateway building (connecting the parking garage with the expanded museum building), and an outdoor plaza area with playful sculptures and other elements.

The new wing will house two exhibits dedicated to the ways that video games and technology change play as well as a new, state-of-the-art welcome atrium and admissions area. Within Digital Worlds will be a new home for the internationally recognized World Video Game Hall of Fame and space to tell the stories of underrepresented groups in the video game industry.

The project is supported by the $60 million Powered by Play: A Campaign for The Strong and has received significant support through New York State’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2023 and draw an additional 400,000 guests to the museum and region by 2026. This is expected to result in an annual economic impact of $130 million. Find more about the project here.

Planning for the project began in 2013 when the City of Rochester moved forward with filling in the Inner Loop, creating pockets of developable land.

The first phase of the project, started in 2018 and completed in 2020, consisted of a whimsically colorful parking garage. The second phase was delayed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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