SAINT LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum announced today a decision by its Board of Commissioners to delay the start date of its $125 million expansion in Forest Park, originally intended for late 2008. The Board acted in response to current market conditions.
"With the current disruption in the financial markets, we believe it is in the best interest of the Museum and the St. Louis community to temporarily delay our expansion," said John D. Weil, president of the Board of Commissioners. "We will set a date for our groundbreaking once the market stabilizes."
In just four years, the Art Museum has received commitments of more than $120 million towards its $125 million initial capital campaign goal. This includes six gifts of at least $10 million each from leaders in the St. Louis community; 70% of the Campaign total has been committed by members of the Museum's boards.
"We are deeply grateful for the leadership and generosity of our boards and the community, whose extraordinary outpouring of support will ensure the success of this important project," said Museum Director Brent R. Benjamin. "This Campaign builds on a tremendous legacy that has positioned the Saint Louis Art Museum as one of the nation's finest comprehensive art museums."
Designed by London-based architect David Chipperfield, the expansion will provide new galleries, public space and collections support along with a 300-space below-grade parking garage and a new, fully accessible entrance on Fine Arts Drive. The expansion was envisioned in the Art Museum's 2000 Strategic Plan, as well as in the 1995 Forest Park Master Plan. Once begun, construction is anticipated to take approximately two years.