State News

Art museum holds groundbreaking ceremony for park expansion

Posted November 18, 2015 4:02 a.m. EST
Updated November 18, 2015 1:55 p.m. EST

An artist's rendering of the expanded Museum Park at the N.C. Museum of Art shows the central elliptic lawn where museum and community programming will take place.

— The North Carolina Museum of Art held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the expansion of its park, which is expected to be completed by next summer.

The expansion will add tree-lined parking lots, bike and walking paths and a central elliptic lawn for museum and community programming.

"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.

Museum Director Larry Wheeler added that the museum "has always been a community gathering place, but we now have the opportunity to be a catalyst for change."

The long-term plan for the Museum Park, which already draws more than 150,000 annual visitors, includes a new campus entrance and streetscape, increased paved parking capacity, woodland and meadow restoration, additional trails and infrastructure, improved sustainability measures and additional outdoor works of art.

The museum received a $13 million gift from an anonymous donor a year ago to help get the first phase of the plan started.