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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Readies for Expansion Opening

design 2 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Readies for Expansion Opening

Sketch courtesy of the museum.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston will open its $118 million expansion and renovation next week and everyone, including the press, is busy trying to make everything presentable.

The Boston Globe tells of 12-hour shifts and a director of operations whose office Fender Telecaster has, of late, been left unplayed.

“No matter who I bump into – friends, neighbors – they all ask me the same thing. Are you going to be ready?’’ said [Operations Director Jim] Labeck. “Absolutely.’’

The Art Newspaper touches on the destruction of the museum’s carriage house, which came about to make way for the new Renzo Piano-designed modifications. It actually sounds like the least contentious decision ever reached, for a museum.

The carriage house had been used to accommodate visiting artists, a function catered for in Piano’s extension, which includes two artists’ apartments. The museum’s board of trustees unanimously voted for the demolition and the city and the state’s preservation agencies, including the Boston Landmarks Commis­sion and the Massachusetts Historic Commission, did not object. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled the demolition “in the public interest” because the museum’s plans for an extension would “extend the life of the [original] building” and fulfil Gardner’s will to establish a museum “for the education and enjoyment of the public forever”.

Still more press to come next week, certainly.

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