NEW YORK, NY.-
Nineteen months after breaking ground on its Renzo Piano-designed building, the Whitney Museum
today celebrated the topping out of its future home, which will bring its unparalleled collection of American art, special exhibitions, and cultural programs to downtown Manhattan in 2015. Adam D. Weinberg, the Museums Alice Pratt Brown Director, was joined by New York City officials, Turner Construction employees, and Whitney trustees and staff to sign the final steel beam before it was lofted to its ninth-story perch, overlooking the High Line and Hudson River Park in the Meatpacking District. According to ironworker tradition, the construction team affixed a fir tree and an American flag to the 19-foot-long beam. The flag flew at half-mast and a NY Loves Newtown banner was attached to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. With this last beam in place, the outline of the 200,000-square-foot structure on the Manhattan skyline is complete.
Were delighted to share this milestone event with our partners at Turner Construction, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and Cooper Robertson & Partners, said Weinberg. The future Whitney will be an aspirational space where contemporary artists can realize their visions and audiences can connect deeply with art. We are enormously grateful to the City of New York, our Board of Trustees, and our many supporters.
Since opening its doors in 1931 in nearby Greenwich Village, the Museums permanent collection has expanded from 2,000 works to more than 19,000. The new building, for which the Museum is seeking LEED-Gold certification, will allow the first comprehensive view of its renowned collection. It will also house state-of-the-art classrooms, a black box theater, a 170-seat theater, a Works on Paper Study Center, a Conservation Lab, a Library Reading Room, and an 18,000-square-foot exhibition space, which will be the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City. To date the Museum has raised $552 million of the $720 million project budget, which includes funds for both construction and endowment. The Whitney has already established a cultural footprint in the area, staging public art exhibitions and performances, and collaborating on projects with neighborhood organizations and businesses.