This month, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will break ground on the expansion of its Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans City Park. The institution is hoping to complete this expansion by winter of next year. The six-acre addition will feature a new gallery, outdoor learning space, an amphitheater, and pedestrian walkways.
“This significant undertaking reinforces NOMA’s integral role in serving the diverse communities of New Orleans,” director Susan Taylor said in a statement. “Like the beloved current sculpture garden, the expanded sculpture garden and new gallery will be free and open to the public seven days a week.”
The central fixture of the garden will be an existing lagoon that NOMA is revamping by reshaping and stabilizing it to increase its storage capacity and improve its water quality. The lagoon plays a vital part in the park’s ecosystem, and to ensure the health of the park, the institution is working with private backers and with Reed-Hilderbrand and Lee Ledbetter & Associates to guarantee its expansion is environmentally responsible. NOMA will also preserve the park’s historic live oaks while incorporating hundreds of new trees and plants that are indigenous to the region.