Universal Hip Hop Museum marks topping-off ceremony

A topping-off ceremony on Wednesday celebrated the installation of the last beam of the structure that will house the Universal Hip Hop Museum.

“I am so excited to see this day come, so we can continue our efforts to transform the Bronx, and create an important space to celebrate brothers and sisters, and recognize hip hop culture,” Borough President Vanessa Gibson said.

The museum, located at Exterior Street & East 150th Street in the Bronx, will celebrate and preserve the history of local and global hip hop music and culture. It is said that hip-hop’s birth happened at a Bronx party inside a building on 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in 1973.

Gibson said the project will also include hundreds of affordable housing units and public open space in the Bronx.

“Projects like these help to redefine the narrative of what the Bronx is about,” City Council Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala said.

The budget for the museum is set to close this month, and elected officials are advocating for $3.5 million for the completion of the museum.

“Show us the money,” Gibson said. “We need dollars and cents to make this project work. We have the blueprint. We have the mission. We have the vision. Now, we need the dollars to see this project to fruition.”

Gibson allocated $2 million from her capital to support the museum, and former Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. previously allocated $4.2 million. Gibson said the state Assembly has also invested $11 million.

The museum will open to the public in 2024.