Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crocker Art Museum Expansion Officially Breaks Ground

Long long time in the making. Ground breaking is at 10am today.

I'm going to try and snap some pictures today, but if anyone happens to be down there and gets some pictures, please post them in the comments section or email them to me and I will post them.


Crocker Press Release

Crocker Art Museum Breaks Ground on 125,000 Square-Foot Expansion

New building triples existing facility, adding much-needed gallery space, visitor amenities and operational efficiencies

July 26, 2007 – Sacramento, Calif. – The Crocker Art Museum officially broke ground today on its 125,000-square-foot expansion with a ceremony involving city and county officials and donors to the project. The groundbreaking begins a nearly three-year construction and move-in process with a grand opening expected in early 2010. The museum remains open throughout construction.

The new wing, designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects of New York, is approximately 125,000 square feet and will more than triple the size of the current facility, adding four times the space for traveling exhibitions and three times the space for permanent collection exhibitions. The expansion will also provide dedicated programming space, including an education center and auditorium; onsite collections care including secure art storage and a conservation lab; a loading dock and freight elevator for easier art handling; a café; and an additional 7,000-square-foot courtyard.

“The City along with private donors are investing in one of Sacramento’s most precious regional treasures,” said Mayor Heather Fargo. “The Crocker Art Museum will continue to be a welcoming cultural destination for residents and visitors for many generations to come.”

The Crocker is undertaking a $100 million capital campaign to fund the building and add to its endowment. To date, the campaign has raised $82 million, $12 million from the City of Sacramento, $4 million from the state of California, $2.5 million from Sacramento County and $63.5 from 166 individuals and foundations.

“With 80 percent of our fundraising goal achieved, we are now beginning to talk more widely to museum members and friends who share in our conviction that a world-class museum will be central to cultural growth in our region,” said Campaign Co-Chair Marcy Friedman. “The generosity that has come from this community is unprecedented for a cultural institution. These gifts come from individuals who, not only love art, but who clearly recognize the economic and public value that will come to Sacramento with the Crocker’s expansion.”
“Today’s groundbreaking brings us a step closer to realizing the art museum that Sacramento deserves – one that will greatly enhance the visitor experience with more amenities such as a café, the ability to show each of our key collection areas and blockbuster traveling exhibitions, and dedicated programming space for art classes, film, lectures and concerts,” said Lial Jones, Director, Crocker Art Museum.

The Crocker Art Museum was founded in 1885 and continues as the leading art institution for the California Capital Region and Central Valley. The Museum offers a diverse spectrum of special exhibitions, events and programs to augment its collections of California, European and Asian artworks. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 AM–5 PM, Tuesday–Sunday; Thursday until 9 PM. For more information on exhibits and events call (916) 264-5423 or visit

# # #

Media Contact: LeAnne R. Ruzzamenti
Media: (916) 264-1963
Mobile : (916) 213-9402
Public: (916) 264-5423
216 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814


Anonymous said...

Happy that they're building it, sad (but not surprised) that the building that will be attached cannot stand up to the existing structure. All over the western world, there are these lovely (if stuffy) 19th Century museums that develop 21st century "tumors" as additions. While the Original Crocker home will continue to charm, the new part will impress upon opening, then get progressively dated and uninteresting as the years go by (see current additions for more information).

But yay for Sac anyway. Better than a kick in the pants.

cole said...

neither good nor bad

just plenty mediocre, even with all the white, New York White, and neo le corbusier swirls, flourishes and 1938 Plymouth DeSoto design touches

Recent Museum Design, for pics

Holl, Cloepfil, Japanese, Europeans and others try and bend into the environment, natural and man made, some with success and others with less success

Anonymous said...

I wish they would have demolished the old building entirely and then build something completely new. New is better than keeping up the old ugly building.

LivingInUrbanSac said...

I like the old mansion. Far from ugly, imo.

There are def some old buildings I wouldn't mind replaced with something new, but this one isn't one of them for me.

If they want to consider tearing something down and start over, they can start with the Community Center Theatre. That brutalist style design is just, well brutal.

I at least hope they can do the major overhaul of that place that has been planned for at least 10-15 years soon.

wburg said...

"New is better"--hah! Folks like that would burn down the Louvre. I can only assume that they think that all the old artwork in the Crocker is equally useless: they're just old ugly paintings, right?

TowerDistrict said...

Is the Community Center Theater in a fund-raising stage right now? or just a complete stand-still?

LivingInUrbanSac said...

I'm pretty sure its at a stand still.

One issue is that the city is not a nonprofit organization, so contributions are not tax-deductible.

Another could be even though giving is gone up a ton over the last few yeas, there has a lot of big fundraising going on recently between Sutter and The Crocker Expansion. Might be a little tougher to find those big bucks.