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city guy

Largest Cultural Project in Philly History

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Besides a housing / condo project in almost

every corner of C.C. the not-for-profits are

all scrambling to build major new musems

and additions at an incredible pace.

Now comes the news that the Museum of Art

"the third largest in the country" will begin

a capital campaign for $500 million to grow

gallery space by 60%.

Where is all this money coming from?

Museum Expansion

Top 4 cultural projects presently planned for the Parkway

1) Barnes Museum ($150 million - new building on Parkway)

2) Library Expansion ($100 million)

Library Expansion

3) Calder Museum ($75 million - new building on Parkway)

4) Franklin Institute Expansion ($50 million)

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I wonder if the expansion will allow for the Phila Museum of Art to leapfrog into becoming the second largest in the country? Its my understanding that the National Gallery in DC is now the second largest (though it seems the Phila Museum is much bigger). I take it that the DC museum overtook the Phila museum back when its east wing was built in the 1970's.

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Is Philadelphia 3rd? That's something I never knew.

The Washington National Gallery up until recently was the Mellon National Gallery, I always get envious of that, given the fact that it was Pittsburgh's native son (and father to Mellon Financial, GM, Alcoa and others) that upon being installed as the longest tenured US Treasury Secretary early in the 20th century was disappointed that there was no art gallery in DC, and basically moved his private collection (valued roughly at $250 million in today's money)from Pittsburgh to DC and topped it off with a gift of close to $100 million in today's money for the construction of the gallery.

We have had the Carnegie Museum of Art since the 1890s in Pittsburgh, so Mellon decided to gift his to DC, I'm just wondering how $350 million in Pittsburgh money would have benefited the state and the city for the decades that followed. And they say Pittsburgh doesn't value the arts ;).

Anyways, great article!

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