ALLENTOWN, PA.- The Allentown Art Museum
today unveiled the plan for its long awaited expansion and renovation project to begin in May. The design, by renowned architecture firm Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA), will give a fresh look to the Museum and expand its offerings with a new classroom and additional galleries.
We are excited for this next phase of the museum to begin, said Joanne Barnette, chair of the Allentown Art Museums Board of Trustees. This project has had the dedication and support of the board, staff and many community donors and would not have come to fruition without their encouragement and strong support. We could not be more pleased with the final design and details. Importantly, the museum will be positioned for future sustainability.
Currently housed in a 1901 Neo-Classical church with a 1975 addition, the museum will be renovated and 7,900 square feet of additional space will be constructed. Some of the design features will include: A renovated museum lobby to create a more welcoming, warm and inviting atmosphere for our visitors; a new entrance through the existing portico of the 1901 church building, which housed the museum from 1959 through 1975; a new aluminum and metal curtainwall façade structure that will be aligned with the portico of the church; an expanded museum store and an addition of a café overlooking the Arts Park; expansion of the Linden Street parking lot, providing parking for staff and visitors; creation of several new gallery spaces and an additional classroom; expansion of the loading dock area; and creation of additional storage space for the museums permanent collection, recently enhanced by new collections.
With this expansion project, the Allentown Art Museum is looking to its future, while honoring its past. Many of the design elements are a juxtaposition of old world grandeur and modern design.
The Allentown Art Museums capital campaign has raised a total of $20.4 million; $15.4 million will be used for the expansion project and related costs and $5 million will be added to the museums endowment. Alvin H. Butz, Inc. is the construction manager.
The museum plans to hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, June 10, 2010.