The Mascot Hall of Fame began as a website, so the Hall of Fame could have taken roots anywhere, but it seems to fit in perfectly with the family friendly events Whiting already hosts on a regular basis.
Once completed, the Whiting Mascot Hall of Fame will sit on 119th and Front street in Whiting, just off the shore of Lake Michigan, boasting three stories and is 25,000 square feet.
“Whiting captures good, solid family values, which is not an accident. The Hall of Fame initiative is led by Mayor Joe Stahura and the Whiting-Robertsdale Chamber of Commerce,” Hall of Fame Executive Director Al Spajer said. “They insist on family things to do, and this is really going to be one of those things. It’s good for Whiting, good for Northwest Indiana, and it’s going to be good for the Metropolitan Chicago Area.”
According to Executive Director Al Spajer, it’s incredibly important to note that the Mascot Hall of Fame is not a museum.
“It’s a place to come and do, not come and see,”, said Spajer. “Sometimes, we have a hard time explaining it. You think of a Hall of Fame and you see costumes hanging on the walls. That’s not the case [this this project]. You walk in as a kid and you’re going to have all sorts of things you can do. You can get into the costumes, or learn the routines, you can see what it’s like to have a mascot head on. It’s going to be a place to immerse themselves in the experience of being a mascot.”
The audience for the Hall of Fame is most certainly children, though people of all ages are sure to find the attraction fun.
“The goal of the Hall of Fame is to leave knowing a heck of a lot more about mascots than you did before, but it's meant to be fun as well as educational,” Spajer explained. “It’s essentially being designed for the elementary school sect, and is going to be dedicated to the fun and the energy that professional and collegiate mascots carry with them.”
As for the dynamic and colorful design of the Hall of Fame, a Whiting team carefully chose a designer. “We contracted with Jack Rouse Associates, they are a group that specializes in kids family attractions,” Spajer said. “They have a wonderful history of doing really cool things that involve kids.They did a really terrific job.”
Spajer is highly anticipating completion of the project.
“As great as it looks in the renderings, I think it will be substantially greater in person. I can’t wait to see it in person," he said. "I’ve been there since they poured the first bit of concrete, and now, three months later, I can walk out there and clearly imagine everything that’s going to be there. I can see the floors, the room, the three-story glass atrium. It’s already very exciting for me because I know the end of the story.”
“I just can’t wait to see the first kids come through that door,” Spajer said.
To follow along with the progress of the Whiting Mascot Hall of Fame, click here.