Reasons to Love Minnesota No. 18: Pavek Museum

Tuned in and turned on

Radioheads and card-carrying A.V. Club members can really go down the rabbit hole at the Pavek Museum in St. Louis Park, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the golden age of broadcasting. Electronics teacher and museum namesake Joe Pavek started amassing radio and TV equipment back in 1946; more than four decades later, pacemaker inventor Earl Bakken (founder of the equally eclectic Bakken Museum) and Minnesota Broadcasters Association president Paul Hedberg helped turn Pavek’s impressive private collection into a proper museum.

Now spread across more than 12,000 square feet of cavernous exhibition space, it’s a sound-and-vision spectacular featuring antique radios, cameras, and television sets; vintage speakers, consoles, and microphones; neon signs galore; and even a working RCA theremin. The Minnesota Collection alone represents more than 30 radio and TV companies that did business in the state since the 1920s. The museum offers long-running children’s workshops on everything from live broadcasting to electromagnetism, while adult hobbyists and tinkerers can sign up for six-week courses in vintage radio repair. Better hurry though—the spring 2019 session has already sold out.

Pavek Museum
3517 Raleigh Ave., St. Louis Park, MN; 952-926-8198.