The Philadelphia Museum of Art, or perhaps you know it better as the building whose steps Rocky ran up?, is getting some work done! Recently the museum announced that it would be renovating and expanding the City of Brotherly Love’s premiere art museum. Famed architect Frank Gehry has been named in charge of the project which will see the addition of 169,000 square feet of space.
The fine folks at the Museum of Art are pretty clever and getting a kind of two-fer with the renovations. Not only are they planning for the renovations with a famous architect. They’re turning the renovations with a famed architect into an exhibit in its own right. Starting on July 1, 2014, Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art will debut. The exhibition will offer a look at models, site plans, renderings and more of the plans for the expansion. The project will remain on display until September 1st.
Plans for work and renovations on the museum have been ongoing for a number of years now. Gehry and his company were announced as the selection to do work for the institution as early as 2006 while the museum underwent exterior cleaning and repair in 2009. The upcoming renovations will focus on the inside of the museum. No worries: those instantly recognizable steps at the East Entrance aren’t going anywhere.
For a Philadelphia area local who grew up visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art on requisite school field trips and for special events as an adult (that Salvador Dali exhibit was something special — especially with the unexpected hologram of Alice Cooper at the end) I’m excited by the announcement. I’m looking forward not only to seeing what Gehry has planned but how it pans out in the end. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is not only a well known landmark but a loved institution — even for those of us who have never watched the movie Rocky. Guilty as charged.