Finally, a real reason to visit Gary: Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson and Gary mayor Rudy Clay have endorsed plans to build an official Michael Jackson museum. Clay has donated 300 acres to the project, expected to draw 750,000 visitors and generate $150 million annually. The museum will cost $300 million to create.
The city could definitely use the revenue. The over 100-year-old city, once a beacon for the steel industry, is today notorious for a high crime rate and debt woes. Gary is under temporary reprieve from full implementation of state tax caps, which once implemented is projected to cut Gary's $60 million property tax revenue in half.
Never been to Gary? Here's a two-minute visual primer, courtesy of YouTube and a brisk car ride:
Michael was born in Gary on August 29, 1958, the eighth of 10 children, to mother Katherine Esther Scruse and Joe Jackson, a former steel worker.