CA Historical Radio Society Museum needs funding

Those trying to preserve the Bay Area's media history are looking for help -- an East Bay museum is in danger of being lost forever.
January 24, 2014 6:16:14 PM PST
Those trying to preserve some of the Bay Area's media history are looking for some help. It's never easy for a small museum to get funding and one East Bay museum is actually in danger of being lost forever.

Ever hear of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame? What about the California Historical Radio Society? If not, that's the first problem. But the second is even more pressing.

Is it art, technology, or culture? Maybe it's all of them blended together in one collection. "Everybody in existence today has some connection to radio," says Steve Kushman with the California Historical Radio Society.

If nothing else, you might know the old building in Berkeley, the former home of a radio station called KRE. It's now also about to be the former home of the California Historical Radio Society.

"The problem is we lost our lease. We were supposed to buy this building but the new owner of the property decided not to sell it," Kushman said.

Hence the frenzy, these days, of packing, hauling, and trying to raise money to buy a building to hold all of the stuff in Alameda. They need to raise another $400,000, or else. "We don't have any good alternatives right now. We'd have to find some low-cost, volumous storage, and we don't have an answer," Director Dennis Montecelli says.

We're talking about historical artifacts, from the radios that entertained our ancestors, to a hands-on control room, to a 16-inch transcription turntable from the days when records still recorded all sound.

"And these were complete programs, 15-minute programs, sometimes half-hour programs. And this is what the programs were recorded on before the advent of audio tape," Kushman explained.

It was also before the advent of digital, and the advent of the internet. The museum is an homage to a world that used to move at 33 1/3 rpm, a museum for which time is running out. Clearly, they're looking for donations. Click here for more information.


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