Anchorage Museum Breaks Ground on Expansion - Community comes out to celebrate
August 22, 2006
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – Aug. 22, 2006 Groundbreaking for the Anchorage Museum’s latest work of art – a $116 million expansion project that includes a stunning new building, exhibit space, and extensive landscaping, and an expanded endowment – took place Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006, at 1 p.m. on the lawn adjacent the museum and museum annex. A free community celebration with live music, entertainment, history, art and family activities took place indoors immediately following the official groundbreaking ceremony.
Mayor Mark Begich, Governor Frank Murkowski and Senator Ted Stevens were among the dignitaries to address the crowd, as well as Ed Rasmuson, Brian Davies, Daphne Brown, and Mary Louise Rasmuson. Bob Reeves, President of the Atwood Foundation, presented a leadership gift to the museum for the expansion.
More than 1,500 residents and visitors came out to celebrate the groundbreaking and enjoy live music by John Damberg Latin Jazz Quintet; light refreshments; art, history and science activities for families; dance performances by The Young Alaskan Filipino Dance Group, Xochiquetzal-tiqun Dancers (Mexican), and Cupiit Yurartet (Alaska Native); face painting; balloon art; and live birds.
The expanded museum will adopt an integrated approach to the exhibition of Alaska and circumpolar North culture through the display of objects across the disciplines of science, history and art.
The 70,000 square foot museum addition, designed by internationally acclaimed architect David Chipperfield with the Anchorage firm of Kumin and Associates, will provide a new home for approximately 1,000 Alaska Native heritage objects from the Smithsonian’s collections in the National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. In addition, the popular Imaginarium Science Discovery Center will relocate to the museum, bringing its focus on outreach and education to the museum while helping it incorporate experiential exhibits throughout the building. The museum’s new exhibition spaces will be designed by the New York firm Ralph Appelbaum Associates.
The new building will make the museum more accessible to passers-by on C Street through a new main entrance and windowed galleries. The vacant 2-acre lawn adjacent the museum will be transformed into a beautifully landscaped public plaza designed by Charles Anderson Landscape Architecture that celebrates the environment while creating an active, vibrant place for both outdoor exhibits and recreation.
The expansion project’s anticipated completion date is set for 2010. For more information on the Anchorage Museum expansion, visit www.anchoragemuseum.org/expansion or call (907) 343-6175.