I stumbled onto this and thought I would put it out here for people to see.
Sacramento needs more big time museums and exploratoriums, and I think the old PG&E is a perfect location for one. Close to Old Sac and downtown, right on the river, next to the water intake and accompanying water feature, and right by new park area.
As I commented a while ago, I think old buildings like these make for great public and civic spaces. I really like the Riverfront Pavillion, cafe and store in the site plan. It also looks like part of the site will be reserved for a future project, possibly for a residential tower in the future, but will be used for parking in the meantime.
I remember that when the city was requesting proposals for the site a while ago, Mike Heller proposed turning the building into a museum that would hold the collection of the Wayne Thiebaud family, which I thought was a nice idea at the time, and still think something along those lines would be a great addition to the city.
I know Sacramento has many other smaller history places like The California History, Womens, Military, Wells Fargo, Discovery, Towe, Aviation and others I am sure I'm forgeting, but The Crocker and The Railroad Museum are places that I think are on another level from the other places mentioned, and I'd like to see more at this level.
The Crocker is about to go through a huge expansion that has taken a lot of years to fund and materialize. I have to imagine something like this would cost a ton of money and a lot of time to put together as well.
Philanthropy has been increasing at a brisk pace over the last few years in Sacramento, lets see how that trend possibly helps this.
The Sacramento Children's Museum seemed to have some momentum going a short time ago, but nothing new has come out recently other than apparent frustrations by the the organizers.
Sacramento Museum of Art, Science, and Human Perception (SMASHp)
Modeled on San Francisco’s highly respected and hugely popular Exploratorium. SMASHp will be a publicly-owned science museum located in the old PG&E Building on the Sacramento River. SMASHp may be inspired by the Explortorium but it's own exhibits will be modeled on science museums from around the world. And many of the exhibits will be created by visual and performing artists as well as scientists and educators thus creating an unique environment that will stimulate the senses and appeal to people who are not normally turn-on by science.
The former Pacific Gas and Electric Co. building, next to the new Jibboom Street Park, is currently vacant and the city is looking for someone to rehabilitate of the historic building for commercial and/or community use. We propose transforming it into a unique 21st-century science museum. The building’s Renaissance/Baroque ornamentation provides a museum-like quality and in some ways recalls the Palace of Fine Art Building in San Francisco which houses the Exploratorium.
The historic building made of reinforced concrete has a large open interior space that is ideal for a wide variety of scientific exhibits. Natural light will filter through skylights and windows to illuminate the interior during the day and the building will be dramatically lit at night.
The museum's entrance will be through the neo-classical portal on the west side (riverfront) of the PG&E building. The western orientation will increase activity along riverfront and as the Railyards Project Area is developed the wisdom of this orientation will be further reinforced.
A small but architecturally striking pavilion will be constructed northwest of the museum's entrance and will house the museum’s store and café which will have outside terraced where visitors will be able to dine alfresco while overlooking the Sacramento River.
Several specially landscaped spaces throughout the site will include ‘smart art’ pieces.
The area north of the museum will be reserved for a future museum tower –a mix-use residential high-rise, however, until that time the site will be used for museum parking.
The Sacramento Museum of Art, Science and Human Perception is destined to be the one of Sacramento’s most popular tourist destinations- attracting many people to the area each year and energizing the existing Sacramento River Parkway trail that connects Old Sacramento to Discovery Park and helping to make the Sacramento Riverfront truly world-class.
How will SMASHp be financed?
City and County of Sacramento
University of California
State and Federal