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The DIA Renovation Continues

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DIA empties north wing as renovation moves forward

By Sherri Begin

In its third year of renovation, the Detroit Institute of Arts moved its staff and art out of the museum's north wing in April.

Administrative offices now are housed in the Rackham Building, which the DIA leases from Wayne State University. The museum has furnished the space with $500,000 in donated furniture from Comcast Cable Communications' Detroit West Area offices, which are now consolidated in Plymouth.

The DIA has moved some of its most popular artworks to the main portion of the museum and arranged them thematically, said Pamela Marcil, DIA public-relations manager. Other artwork is in storage, and much of the museum's American collection is on tour in the United States after exhibits in Ireland, the Netherlands and France.

As of last fall, the DIA had raised $196 million of a $331 million capital campaign goal. The bulk of that money will go to establish an endowment for the museum, with $91 million to pay for construction.

Renovations in the north wing include extensive infrastructure improvements, primarily to the air-handling system, and construction of a new staircase and a new facade on the wing, said Executive Vice President Maurice Parrish.

"We are also creating new gallery space by in-filling an open court on the second floor and creating office space on the third floor by in-filling that court at the third- floor level," Parrish said.

The moves are part of the larger renovation plan, which includes a new facade and a 35,000-square-foot addition to the three-story south wing. The museum also is expanding gallery space, updating its restaurant and museum shop and renovating the lobby at the Farnsworth Street entrance. A new corridor also will run the length of the museum between its north and south wings.

Renovations should be complete late next year with another year needed to redisplay the museum's artwork, Parrish said.

Last year the DIA used $36.7 million of its restricted funds to pay for operations, its ongoing renovations and art purchases, said CFO Loren Lau.

The DIA's budget in 2003 was about $60 million.

State subsidies that peaked at $16 million in 1990 dropped to $2 million this year, Lau said.

Sherri Begin: (313) 446-1694, [email protected]

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