CROWN POINT —The John Dillinger Museum shuttered unexpectedly at 11 a.m. this morning.
According to a release from the South Shore CVA, the museum welcomed about 20,000 people since opening in the summer of 2015.
A reason for the closing wasn't given in the release.
Erika Dahl, director of communications for the South Shore CVA and the John Dillinger Museum, said the museum has exceeded expectations while in Crown Point, and attendance was greater than it was at the Hammond location.
“Attendance had nothing to do with (the closing),” Dahl said. “We were impressed by the numbers at that location. The museum was not intended to turn a profit. We are a not-for-profit, and we operated the museum to provide education and a tourist destination. This is unexpected, and it will take some time to figure out what the next phase will be. The Dillinger items will be returned to storage for now.”
The South Shore CVA said it had "created a number of special events to increase visitation at the museum and the city's downtown."
“The museum was an asset to Crown Point’s downtown as it generated additional foot traffic to our local merchants and brought in visitors from across the nation that may not have normally stopped in Crown Point," Mayor David Uran said in the release. "The museum not only economically helped our city, but it told the story of our local law enforcement, the FBI and ultimately that crime doesn’t pay.”
Uran said it raised awareness of how law enforcement evolved and made advancements in crime-fighting techniques which created new ways to protect communities.
The museum followed the lives of depression-era gangsters and the rise of the FBI.
According to the release, updates for the Museum will be posted at www.dillingermuseum.com as they become available.