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Whitney Museum of American Art celebrates topping out

The Whitney Museum of American Art has celebrated the topping out of its future home, which will bring its unparalleled collection of American art, special exhibitions, and cultural programs to downtown Manhattan in 2015.

Whitney Museum of American Art new building

Adam D. Weinberg, the Museum’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, was joined by New York City officials, Turner Construction employees, and Whitney trustees and staff to sign the final steel beam before it was lofted to its ninth-story perch, overlooking the High Line and Hudson River Park in the Meatpacking District. According to ironworker tradition, the construction team affixed a fir tree and an American flag to the 19-foot-long beam. The flag flew at half-mast and a “NY Loves Newtown” banner was attached to honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. With this last beam in place, the outline of the 200,000-square-foot structure on the Manhattan skyline is complete.

Since opening its doors in 1931 in nearby Greenwich Village, the Museum’s permanent collection has expanded from 2,000 works to more than 19,000. The new building, for which the Museum is seeking LEED-Gold certification, will allow the first comprehensive view of its renowned collection. It will also house state-of-the-art classrooms, a black box theater, a 170- seat theater, a Works on Paper Study Center, a Conservation Lab, a Library Reading Room, and an 18,000-square-foot exhibition space, which will be the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City. To date the Museum has raised $552 million of the $720 million project budget, which includes funds for both construction and endowment. The Whitney has already established a cultural footprint in the area, staging public art exhibitions and performances, and collaborating on projects with neighborhood organizations and businesses.

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