Broad Museum to Break Ground in March 2010

Michigan State University will break ground on the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum on March 16, 2010. Eli Broad, who donated the naming gift for the project, and Zaha Hadid, the internationally known architect who designed the building, are expected to attend. The groundbreaking will be followed by 23 months of construction and a 2012 museum opening.

Broad Art Museum
A view of the planned Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum from the northwest. Courtesy: Zaha Hadid Architects

The university also announced the creation of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum Advisory Board that will advise on leadership structure, administrative structure and financial sustainability. The board is made up of an accomplished group of people with many combined years of experience in the arts.

Members of the board include: William Anderson, retired director of the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries and MSU alumnus; Graham W.J. Beal, director of the Detroit Institute of Arts; Eugene A. Gargaro, Masco Corp. and chairman of Detroit Institute of Arts Board of Directors; Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Joanne Heyler, director and chief curator of the Broad Art Foundation; Carl Koivuniemi, deputy chief planning and budget officer of Metropolitan Museum of Art and MSU alumnus; and Steve Noll, patent attorney, Chicago and MSU alumnus. (Read bios).

“It is often said that an organization’s greatest assets are its people, and this is certainly the case with the appointment of this extraordinary advisory board,” said Karin Wurst, dean of the MSU College of Arts and Letters. “Their breadth and depth of experience will be invaluable in assisting the university with concrete and practical advice as the project moves forward.”

The board met at MSU during the week of Sept. 21 to discuss research, critical issues, options, vision and mission for the museum. They also were able to view building plans and visit the museum site.

“Michigan State has done a very good job in preparation for the launching of this museum,” said Koivuniemi. “They’ve done a lot of research on other museums, the positioning of the museum, various options, the administration, and how it fits into the university as it is right now. I see the advisory board as being a body of people outside the university to give another perspective, to affirm the direction that the university has decided to take. It’s a very exciting opportunity.”

In June 2007, philanthropist and MSU alumnus Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, donated $18.5 million toward the construction of the museum. They gave an additional $7.5 million to commission a signature sculpture and to provide funding for acquisitions, operations and endowment for a total gift of $26 million, the largest gift ever made to the university.

Hadid, a prize-winning architect from London, was selected as the winner of an international design competition for the Broad Art Museum in January 2008. Teams from Hadid’s firm worked with university representatives as well as local architectural and construction firms to complete the design and building plans.

Once completed, the museum will be three levels with approximately 46,000 square feet of space. More than 69 percent will be gallery space and large art works will be able to be displayed. The building will be built with eligibility for LEED certification.

“In my past position, we talked about major cultural institutions being magnets,” said Anderson. “This will have magnetic influence in terms of attraction for the campus community for East Lansing, Lansing and a much greater audience once the building and programming is in place. There is an interest on the university’s part for it to be transformational. Transformation means that this art museum will have a profound influence and that potential, I believe, is great.”

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