Who would you pay to see on display at the Philadelphia Wax Museum?
January 16, 2013By Eric Walter
As far as anyone can tell, the planned site in South Philly is other corner of Columbus Boulevard and Reed Street — the one not occupied by the United Artists Riverview, Staples or the Comcast payment center.
[Updated Feb. 18] We noticed on Naked Philly back in January that there is a proposal afoot to create a waxworks museum in Philadelphia to honor notable personalities and historic figures with ties to the city.
Founder Robert Avery says he wants the museum to inspire young people to achieve greatness. A Feb. 18 story in the Philadelphia Daily News paints the museum as more of a dream than a potential reality:
"The Philadelphia Wax Museum is truly the museum of the future. It's been generating buzz for years, but the groundbreaking date cited in media accounts always seems to be just around the corner, and the grand opening just around the next one. Summer of 2009, early 2010, late 2011, sometime in 2012."
The first figure, he says, will be William Penn. There's a whole army of Colonial-era notables. No controversy there.
And there are countless others anyone would expect to see: Bill Cosby, Will Smith, Marian Anderson. As well as a few less-obvious choices, e.g., Jean Vander Pyl, the voice of fictional prehistoric housewife Wilma Flintstone and Rosey, the Jetsons' robot maid.
Philly Post blogger Victor Fiorillo pointed out earlier this month that one of the figures planned for the museum is that of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. That one might be a harder sell, even if the man has turned his back on his dog-fighting past.
Come to think of it, the museum could have a whole wing of "bad guys made good" — or maybe just bad guys. Who would underwrite the 'Corrupt and Contented' Wing?
In a town like Philly, of course, a section dedicated to sports figures would be essential — Moses Malone, Mike Schmidt. You'd have to pay tribute to famous industrialists, beer brewers and the like. And maybe there could be a whole room full of of wax foods — cheesesteaks, scrapple, Tastykakes!
You may have heard about the wax museum last summer when Avery used the Philadelphia Wax Museum Facebook page to express support of Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's position against gay marriage, briefly drawing the ire of the local LGBT community.
At the time Avery rightly defended his right to express his opinion — though one may wonder why he felt it necessary in that moment to interrupt a steady stream of Philadelphia cheerleading to share an opinion that had nothing at all to do with Philadelphia ... or the museum.
Whatever his beliefs, there is little doubt that Avery, who now lives in Washington, D.C., loves Philadelphia something awful. As mentioned, the museum's Facebook page (with the odd exception) is one big love song to the city and its native sons and daughters. Who can resist the charm of a man so in love?