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Cummer exhibits lofty plan for growth

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Jacksonville's most-storied museum is planning massive changes that will make it a regional arts destination, as well as the second-biggest in the state -- and it has more than a third of the money it needs in hand.

The board of trustees of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens recently approved a master plan that would cost an estimated $24 million and take six years to complete, museum director Maarten van de Guchte told the Times-Union this week.

The master plan increases the museum's space from 68,000 square feet to 105,000 square feet, making it Florida's second-largest museum campus in area after The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.

The rest of the article can read here.

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Whoa! I wasn't expecting this. I hadn't heard about this planned expansion. That'll be great!

Ooh, and look at this:

The museum would also like the city to contribute to its plan by installing two roundabouts on Riverside Avenue and extending the Riverwalk alongside the museum.

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The past, present and future with the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens:

1958: Death of Ninah Cummer, museum's founder. Her will provided for a foundation to establish the Cummer art gallery on her former family's residence

1961: The gallery and Cummer gardens officially open to the public

1989: Cummer purchases insurance building at 841 Riverside for education center and administrative offices

1991: Opening of Art Connections, museum's interactive education center; museum's permanent collections reinstalled and reopened; two new riverfront galleries open

2000: Cummer purchases adjoining gardens of the historic Woman's Club of Jacksonville

2003: 100th anniversary of Cummer gardens

2004: Major renovation of Art Connections

February 2005: Purchase of the Woman's Club

April: Construction begins on the central building, a 16,000-square-foot space on the north side of the campus, and on a new 2,100-square-foot space, the Jacobsen Gallery of American Art.

Nov. 12, 2005: Jacobsen Gallery to open

January 2006: Phase I of master plan estimated to begin with Woman's Club renovation, construction of link building; parking improvements

February 2007: Phase I finish

March 2007: Phase II to begin with renovation of core building, including creation of a covered courtyard and small cafe

September 2008: Phase II finish

October 2008: Phase III to begin with Art Connections exterior face-lift; new North Gallery & Garden

October 2010: Master plan's finish

Source: Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

This story can be found on Jacksonville.com at http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stor..._18911597.shtml.

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Whoa!  I wasn't expecting this.  I hadn't heard about this planned expansion.  That'll be great!

Ooh, and look at this:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ready for WWII against DOT, concerning Riverside Avenue?

From article:

"But roundabouts would slow traffic on Riverside.

Mayor John Peyton said there are no confirmed plans to go ahead with the roundabouts yet.  "That is still in the concept stage," he said. "The DOT [state Department of Transportation]has not signed off on that plan.

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I would defintiely like to see roundabouts put in around the Cummer. Traffic moves too fast around that area anyway. The Cummer's expansion is really going to be great for the city and the Riverside area as well.

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Roundabouts on Riverside Ave. are a horrible idea. That is a HEAVILY traveled road and main route into R-side. You wouldnt be in favor of roundabouts there if you drove it every day. The thing to do is put in a better marked crosswalk. There is already a light there at the existing crossing. A little common sense in crossing the street and there is no trouble.

As to the renderings for the expansion, they look like crap. I wonder why they didnt consult any of those who donate money regarding this. Here's an idea for an expansion: Make the new part look something like the rest of the building. Too many of today's architects have no clue about context. Mismatching an addition may be trendy, but it is not attractive and will not wear well.

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