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Empire State opens its doors for Cartoon Museum.

New York City will soon have a major new tourist attraction.

The National Cartoon Museum, formerly the International Museum of Cartoon Art, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., has signed a long-term lease for over 15,000 s/f of retail and exhibit space, as well as 2,000 s/f of office space, at the Empire State Building, where it will house and display its permanent collection of cartoons, the largest in the world.

The multi-level Museum, which will boast approximately 40 feet of prime frontage along 34th Street, just west of Fifth Avenue, will feature a spectacular $20 million collection comprised of approximately 200,000 original cartoons, amassed over 68 years from more than 50 countries, as well as 10,000 books and 1,000 hours of animation. The Museum is being designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates, renowned museum planners and designers.

"It's the greatest collection of its kind and it be longs in New York City, the heart of the cartoon industry," said the Museum's founder, legendary cartoonist Mort Walker, creator of the "Beetle Bailey" comic strip.

Interior construction work on the space, which will include street, mezzanine and lower levels, will begin this fall so that the Museum should be ready to open to the public late next year, said Stephen A. Tole, general manager of the Empire State Building.

"We couldn't be happier that this national treasure, with its ageless appeal, has chosen the most famous building in New York for its new home," Mr. Tole noted.

"The addition of a multi-level, world-class Cartoon Museum, in combination with our legendary rooftop Observatory, further enhances our stature as the city's preeminent tourist attraction for visitors of all ages."

Director of leasing Thomas P. Sullivan represented the Empire State Building in the 15-year transaction.

In addition to displaying every genre of its art-film and television animation, comic books, comic strips, gag cartoons, illustration, editorial cartoons, greeting cards, caricature, graphic novels, sports cartoons and computer generated art--the Museum also plans to hold seminars, courses, lectures, workshops and special exhibitions.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 24, 2005
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