The Mob Museum, The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement™, is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit dedicated to the history of organized crime and law enforcement. It was designed by a world-class team known for other highly successful museums that reinvigorated communities, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH and the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. The Mob Museum showcases real stories and actual events in Mob history through interactive and engaging exhibits that reveal both sides of this fascinating story.
The 41,000 square-foot building includes approximately 17,000 square feet of exhibition space on three floors. The Museum is housed within the historic former federal courthouse and U.S. Post Office. The courtroom on the second floor is the very courtroom where one of 14 national Kefauver Hearings to expose organized crime was held back in 1950.
The Mob Museum board of directors is headed by President Ellen Knowlton, former FBI Special Agent in Charge, Las Vegas Division, and a 24-year FBI veteran. Members of the board of directors include highly respected professionals from local and state government, law enforcement, the judicial system, media and the business community. Many of these individuals have first-hand knowledge of organized crime and its impact on Las Vegas and society.
The Mob Museum is located in what many consider the ultimate artifact, the former federal courthouse and U.S. Post Office. Completed in 1933 and listed on both the Nevada and National Registers of Historic Places, the building was meticulously rehabilitated. It is significant for its neo-classical architecture reminiscent of the period in which it was built and the historic events that unfolded inside of it. The Museum accurately depicts Mob history, dispels the legendary “myth of the Mob” and provides details on the significant role law enforcement played in ending the Mob’s reign nationwide and in Las Vegas.
All in the Family… and the Feds
Artifacts integrated throughout the Museum’s interactive exhibits provide an insider’s look into many of organized crime’s biggest names, including, Alphonse Capone, Dion O’Bannion, George Moran, Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Sam Giancana, Joe Bonanno, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, Mickey Cohen, Tony Spilotro, John Gotti and Whitey Bulger. The Museum is also working with the FBI and many famous undercover agents who made a career of fighting the Mob, including legendary agents Joe Pistone who infiltrated the Mob posing as a small time jewel thief, Donnie Brasco; and Cuban-born Jack Garcia who successfully ingrained himself into the Gambino family.
In addition, items and artifacts relating to law enforcement’s role in helping to eradicate and control the Mob, such as weapons, wiretapping tools and tactics and crime scene photos will also be shown. The Mob Museum is a modern-day museum and offering highly experiential and interactive experiences. Fascinating stories are brought to life through one-of-a-kind, authentic artifacts, interactive touch screens and unique displays to engage with law enforcement and organized crime materials. For example, visitors can “shoot” a simulated Tommy gun, listen to real FBI surveillance tapes on wiretapping equipment and take part in FBI weapons training.
A $42 million construction project, The Museum is funded by the City of Las Vegas and nearly $9 million in historic preservation grants – including federal, state and local.
As a key player in the $4 billion downtown redevelopment, the Museum will attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area and is expected to generate $20.2 million in total economic output over 10 years.