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Children's Museum plans expansion

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Museum outlines its plans to expand

Features include stage for children

By Geoff Edgers, Globe Staff | February 17, 2005

The Fan Pier is still in limbo, but the nearby Boston Children's Museum took its first step yesterday to expanding its Fort Point Channel home.

The museum, in a filing with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, announced its plan, which would create a new entrance and lobby, a traveling exhibition gallery, an improved lunchroom, and a new stage for music and theater performances.

The expansion would add 20,000 square feet to the museum, and portions of the existing 150,000-square-foot building would be renovated. Officials from the museum said they were not prepared to say when they expect to start construction or how much they intend to spend on the project.

But Vivien Li, executive director of the Boston Harbor Association, said museum officials told her last week that the plans would cost about $25 million.

"It's pretty modest," Li said. "This is a very realistic plan. It's doable, and it's great for kids and families."

The Fan Pier, an empty 21-acre site on the South Boston Waterfront, is key in the city's development plans, but two prospective buyers failed last year to conclude deals for the land.

With the announcement, the Children's Museum joins a group of cultural institutions that have either recently finished or launched building projects. Those include the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, which finished its expansion in 2003, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which is in the midst of a $180 million project. The Institute of Contemporary Art has begun building its waterfront property on South Boston's Fan Pier, and in November the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum announced it had hired architect Renzo Piano to design a multi-story building on its Fenway grounds.

"These expansions are not taken up lightly," said Dan Hunter, executive director of the private, nonprofit Massachusetts Advocates for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities. "They are planned out, and they represent a demand."

From The Boston Globe

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Well the expansion was completed this spring and the museum reopend on April 17th. They will achieve LEED certification by adding several green features such as a green roof and a storm water reclemation system to reduce runoff into the Fort Point Channel. I just wanted to add a couple of renderings from the architect'ss and museum's websites to what the expansion will ultimately look like. I'll try to get some pictures at some point.

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From the looks of these renderings, the new development will look great! it would be great if you could get some pics, altrvr.

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Here are the promised pics of the revamped Children's Museum. While it doesn't look bad, I'm pretty let down compared to the renderings. It looks like there was some serious value engineering going on with the exterior.

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Congress St. is closed to auto-traffic....they ripped up all the concrete and resurfacing it. Pedestrians can use the already resurfaced lane.

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