Audio visual specialist, Electrosonic, has provided AV support for new galleries at the renamed Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The new galleries are situated in the former Kitchen and Laundry Building of the immigrant processing and detention station, which was in use from 1892 to 1954 in New York Harbour. They tell the story of immigration after the station’s closure and are the second phase of the Peopling of America Center®.
Work was delayed following the flooding of the building’s basement which destroyed the electrical, communications, IT, and HVAC systems that supported the building's operations – including the Electrosonic racks housing the exhibit equipment for phase one of the project.
“In the meantime, some of the original team members from Hadley Exhibits, media content providers including History Channel, software vendors and Electrosonic were no longer available. Some equipment had been in storage and some additional equipment was required, ” explains Electrosonic’s Rick Nelson, Project Manager for phase two.
Entire mechanical, electrical and computer systems had to be replaced and relocated to a safer level, which led to a two-year delay in the project.
Visitors enter The Journey: New Eras of Immigration gallery where a Billboard of Greetings features a looped soundtrack of greetings in different languages and soundbites of immigrants’ stories. The track is driven by a stereo audio feed from Alcorn McBride’s AM-4 Digital Audio Machine.
The 5-foot radiant World Migration Globe in the museum’s foyer houses two projectors that display images on the sphere; Geffen fiber extenders run from the exhibit to AMX show control. The AMX system individually controls, monitors, starts and stops the exhibits in both new galleries.
The Citizenship Gallery features a number of interactive kiosks that utilise portrait-mounted 23-inch Samsung monitors with interactive push buttons and BrightSign playback. Among the most compelling are four Citizenship Narratives featuring portrait-mounted 46-inch Samsung monitors where new Americans share their deeply personal stories.
Electrosonic supplied Stewart amps and all the exhibit speakers, including highly-directional units. The AMX show control system controls five Peavey DSP units to bump up audio from normal to louder mode when visitor traffic builds in the galleries.
“Reassembling the team and bringing a project like this back online, while being careful not to incur ‘starting from scratch’ costs, was a challenge but was done cost-effectively, ” says Nelson.