Art museum to remake Raleigh campus
Posted December 10, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The North Carolina Museum of Art has received a $13 million donation to jump-start plans to remake its 164-acre campus in west Raleigh, officials said Wednesday.
The multi-phase plan calls for a new campus entrance and streetscape along Blue Ridge Road, more parking, woodland and meadow restoration, additional trails and infrastructure, improved sustainability measures and more outdoor works of art.
“The goal of this plan is to connect people, art and nature in a sustainable way,” Dan Gottlieb, the museum's director of planning and design, said in a statement.
The $13 million gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous will fund the first phase of the plan, which is scheduled to begin next spring, officials said. The work will include sprucing up the museum's western edge along Blue Ridge Road, adding bike and walking paths to connect to the Capital Area Greenway and transforming the 120-foot smokestack from the former Polk Youth Center – the museum took over the facility's property in the late 1990s – into a dynamic work of art.
Artist Jim Hodges has been commissioned to work on the smokestack. The effort, made possible by an estate gift to the museum, will be visible day and night and will be part of the Art Has No Boundaries program that encourages visitors of all ages and abilities to actively explore the Museum Park, officials said.
The museum has hired landscape architecture and urban design firm Civitas Inc. of Denver to develop the long-range plan. Officials said future phases will include a new Museum Center to allow a variety of indoor and outdoor programming, the creation of a public sculpture park that could be used for outdoor festivals and other events and a tree-lined walkway to connect the museum's buildings with the park. The plan also calls for restoring House Creek and creating new coves and trails in the park's meadows and woodlands.