RAA was commissioned to provide planning and design that would tell the story of Thomas Edison's West Orange lab, where the motion-picture camera, improved phonographs, sound recordings, silent and sound movies, and the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery were invented.
The life and work of this American genius, who almost single-handedly invented modern life, are interpreted through exhibits, media kiosks, and historic reconstructions throughout the building.
Edison’s two-story library, stockroom, and heavy-machine shop were reopened on the first floor. The precision-machine shop, Room 12 (Edison’s private lab), and the drafting room are on the second floor. The third floor includes the music room—the world’s first recording studio—where a phonograph collection documents the early years of sound recording. Edison’s photography studio was re-created with its original equipment, and a new open-storage area displays thousands of historic artifacts that were central to his life as an inventor. Audio tours provide in-depth narratives for visitors as they explore the premises on their own.
- Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Partners
18,000 square feet
NJ Historic Sites Council 20th Annual Historic Preservation Awards, Stewardship Award