Black Country Living Museum is hoping to raise £10m towards its future development.
The museum is planning to increase visitor numbers
The Dudley museum, which mainly depicts the Victorian industrial revolution period, hopes the money will come from regeneration and tourism bodies.
It will use the money to create a whole street themed on the 1930s, which museum director Ian Walden called a "period of real rapid change".
It hopes the revamp will boost visitor numbers from 250,000 a year to 300,000.
Construction of the first building in the new street has already begun.
Mr Walden said of the plans: "It's an area of the Black Country that we haven't covered.
"It's a period of real rapid change. The decline of the iron industry, the decline of the coal industry, beginnings of the motor industry and of course the beginning of the Second World War - so we think there's a period there that people can relate to."