Pinball Museum Set for New Alameda Home


The Pacific Pinball Museum says it signed a letter of intent with the City of Alameda to restore the vacant Carnegie Library and turn it into its new home.

According to the organization, 1902 building–located at the corner of Santa Clara Avenue at Oak Street–has been empty since 1998.

Since 2001, the pinball group has collected nearly 1,000 pinball games but has only been able to display about 100 at its 1510 Webster Street location. Many of the collection dates to the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

“It is extremely important to our mission that we occupy a building of historical significance,” said Larry Zartarian, chairman of the board’s chairman, in a statement. “The 1902 Carnegie Library is a testament to American education and an ideal location for the PPM to educate visitors about art, science and history as related to pinball and its uniquely American heritage.”

City Manager John Russo told the the group it could lease the space for 30 years if it agrees to finish restoration and bringing the Carnegie up to current day building code requirements. This means work on electrical, plumbing and sewer utilities, ADA accessibility, a needed HVAC system and fire sprinklers.

The City of Alameda has already spent over $4 million on the building’s retrofit.

“The PPM has been bringing people to Alameda for over 10 years and has established itself as a stable and imaginative non-profit,” said Alameda City Manager John Russo., in a press release “The prospect of having a pinball museum at the Carnegie is exciting and the City of Alameda looks forward to taking the next steps with PPM to make our common vision a reality.”

The museum will need to raise some $3.5 million in the next two years in order to make this plan a reality.

Contact the group at info@pacificpinball.org.

Janet Levaux