Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Aiding Drexel Engineering Students to Design Philadelphia Sports Museum

A team of Architectural and Civil Engineering students at
Drexel University ( working with the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation ( to design a Philadelphia Sports Museum as the centerpiece of their Senior Design Project.

The future engineers are designing commercial, residential and public aspects into the project, a revitalization of a vacant 13 acre lot in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. A major element of their Senior Design project involves a sports museum for Philadelphia. According to the Handbook for Drexels Civil, Architectural and Environmental Department, the eight-month Senior Design course is an open-ended design project structured to resemble as closely as possible the ones that you're likely to encounter after you graduate.”

"Though our design represents a hypothetical development it will be planned, designed and detailed as a real-life engineering project. This includes developing a riverfront site (Frankford Avenue at the Delaware River); designing architectural, structural, plumbing, electrical and HVAC components; as well as zoning requirements, fire protection and security," says Ben Fry, one of the design team members along with Josh Fazio, Josh Fisher and David Beam.

A sports museum is a long-term goal of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, a one-and a half-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. In its organizational documentation, The Hall of Fame, which recently announced its Charter Class of Hall of Famers (, identifies a sports hall of fame and museum as a cornerstone for future development.

An aspect of the Foundations community programs includes working with local college students. Along these lines, the Hall of Fame has served as a hypothetical client vying for a public relations contract as part of a West Chester University senior Marketing class. Two separate groups of students, four students per group, presented proposals, each trying to win the Hall of Fames public relations business.”

For the Drexel design project the Hall of Fame is playing the part of sponsor. According to the Drexel Handbook, a key aspect is the Senior Design team engaging a sponsor to expose you to 'real' clients who have a real problem and very specific concerns.” The intent is to have a third party, intimate with the situation to present real-life issues.

We are pleased to be working with such a fine group, particularly on a project that is such a part of our future,” states Ken Avallon, president of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation. The extraordinary part is how similar our thoughts are regarding certain elements of the museum, particularly real items from Veterans Stadium.”

"From an aesthetic and functional standpoint the design will include actual architectural elements of Veterans Stadium including railings, ticket windows, lockers, seats, even the Liberty Bell and Jumbotron," continues Fry.

Given the current salvage operation at Veterans Stadium, the timeliness of this project is not lost on the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. In fact, the Hall of Fame has been working with the Phillies who are managing the disposal of items from the Vet.

Even though Drexel Project is for a hypothetical museum, the items from the Vet are a very real element in our future plans,” continues Avallon. The Phillies have been terific. Though we have not yet retrieved any items from the stadium I correspond regularly via email and voice mail with Michael Harris who is leading this massive salvage effort for the Phillies.”

The engineering students are in the final days of the first stage of the project, the Proposal stage. The winter term, which ends in March, ends with a Progress Report, defining such things as major decisions and whether the individual design components will work together. The spring term, ending in late May culminates with the final presentation and the Drexel College of Engineering competition. The final design will include the 50,000 square foot, two story Philadelphia Sports Museum.

The Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation registered with the Internal Revenue Service. Founded in 2002, it is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Association of Non-Profit Organizations, the Maxwell Club, the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums and the International Association of Sports Museums and Halls of Fame. More information about the Foundation can be found at

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