The coolest museum you’ve never heard of, the Pavek Museum in St. Louis Park houses 12,000 square feet of interactive displays that promote the history and science of electronic communication.
Visitors to the museum can explore the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame or sign up for a podcasting class. It’s a popular destination for school field trips and a haven for anyone with an affinity for antiques or radio history.
Since 1991, the Pavek Museum has given over 5,000 workshops, reaching over 115,000 children. It’s a fun destination for the whole family.
Workshops and camp programs
The Pavek Museum offers a variety of workshops and camps for kids, including The Electromagnetism Workshop (grades 4-6), The Broadcast Workshop (grades 4-6), Podcast Camp (ages 9-13), and Spy Radio Camp (ages 9-13).
They also offer courses for adults on topics like antique radio repair.
Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame
Created in 2001 to “preserve and promote the best of Minnesota's broadcast industry,” the Pavek Museum’s Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame honors more than 200 Minnesotans who have made their mark on the industry.
The most recent inductees include Dennis Anderson, a former news anchor from WDIO-TV in Duluth; Ralph Jon "RJ" Fritz, who was on WCCO-TV from 1968-2005; Patrick Reusse, who has been on KSTP-AM since 1983; and Charles "Chuck" Williams of KWNO in Winona.
The Pavek Museum opened in 1988 Joe Pavek’s personal collection and has grown into one of the best collections of its kind in the world.
Pavek started his collection in 1946 while he was an electronics instructor at Dunwoody College of Technology, known then as the Dunwoody Institute.
The first piece of Joe Pavek’s collection was an antique radio he rescued from being torn apart and studied by Dunwoody students. From then on, he was an amateur radio operator and avid collector.
In 1984, Pavek partnered with Medtronic co-founder Earl Baaken and Paul Hedberg of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association to create a nonprofit to house his extensive collection.
The Pavek Museum’s grand opening was on October 29, 1988.
Unless you know where it is, it’s easy to miss the Pavek Museum. It’s tucked away in a commercial and industrial area at 3517 Raleigh Avenue, St. Louis Park, MN 55416.
It’s just east of Highway 100 and south of Minnesota 7.
When to go
The Pavek Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Tickets cost $6 for students and $8.00 for adults and seniors. Visitors are welcome to stop by any time during regular hours, or you can schedule a private tour if you’d like.
No matter when you go, you’ll be sure to enjoy this fascinating trove of Minnesota broadcasting history.