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Studio Museum in Harlem Announces Expansion

Robin Pogrebin reports in the New York Times that the Studio Museum in Harlem has announced plans for a new $122 million building on West 125th Street designed by the British architect David Adjaye, who is also the architect of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., currently under construction.

The city of New York is contributing $35.3 million to the Studio Museum’s new home, $11.4 million of which was recently allocated in the budget for fiscal year 2016. The Ford Foundation also donated $3 million and the remainder is to be raised via other sources. Adjaye’s design, which will be submitted to the city’s public design commission on July 14, will afford the museum more than 70,000 square feet, up from its current 60,000, and include 10,000 total square feet of gallery space, upgrading from its current 6,000.

The design also incorporates a wide, glass-fronted lobby and a staircase in the entrance area to the lower level that can serve as seating for public programs in addition to new education spaces, a café, and a free roof area for sculpture and events. Construction is scheduled to start in 2017 with a completion goal of 2019 and is expected to increase the museum’s $6 million annual operating budget to $8.2 million. The museum intends to continue its activities off site during construction, though details have yet to be determined.

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