Two Projects Proceeding

Midwinter work, under wraps, on the Law School’s Northwest Corner building
Rendering of the reconstructed Fogg Art Museum from Broadway at Prescott streets
Rendering of the reconstructed Fogg Art Museum from Broadway and Quincy streets
The contractors begin.

Return to main article:

In January, the University placed a $480-million debt offering, in part to retire existing borrowings but also for $219 million of “project costs,” the majority associated with Harvard Law School’s Northwest Corner building (see “Legal Legroom,” January-February 2007, page 61, and “Sun, Wind, and Steel,” November-December 2009, page 16N). That 250,000-square-foot project was well begun before the financial crisis unfolded in 2008, and is being completed; occupancy is expected in the fall of 2011. Although it was anchored by two large gifts raised during that school’s recent capital campaign (of $25 million and a reported $30 million, respectively), the overall costs are estimated to be in the range of $220 million to $250 million, necessitating the financing. (The law school will likely have to begin servicing the debt and paying for operation and maintenance—multimillion-dollar new expenses—in fiscal year 2012.) 

The other major campus construction—a complete renewal of the now-mothballed Fogg Art Museum, previously estimated to cost $350 million to $400 million—was authorized by the Corporation in December. Although that decision was not formally announced, exterior demolition began in late January. Thomas Lentz, Cabot director of the Harvard Art Museum, pronounced himself “pleased and relieved” that the work can proceed, given the cost of the “complex” overhaul and prevailing financial conditions.

The Renzo Piano-designed project, which will renovate the core building and its antiquated systems, will also yield additional gallery space and a new entrance along Prescott Street and art-study centers for faculty, student, and visitor use on the upper levels. Previously announced gifts from Emily Rauh Pulitzer, A.M. ’63, and David Rockefeller ’36, G ’37, LL.D. ’69, provided more than $70 million to advance the work. Other financing has not been reported, and fundraising continues. Lentz hopes that—following a planned 36 months of construction and up to a year to move the collections back to the reconstructed facility—the museum can reopen for the fall term in 2013.

You might also like

Kevin Young Named 2024 Harvard Arts Medalist

Museum director and poet to be honored April 24

How Air Pollution Affects Our Brains

An expert Harvard panel discusses the links between air pollution and dementia, learning, mental health, and mood.

Harvard Magazine March-April 2024 Scavenger Hunt

March-April 2024 Print Issue Scavenger Hunt

Most popular

Retreat and Recreate: Peddocks Island

This Boston Harbor island offers an urban oasis.

The “Bionic Leaf ”

Harvard scientists find a way to convert solar energy into a liquid fuel.

Net Effects

Janet Echelman’s urban sculptures take to the skies.

More to explore

Photograph of Winthrop Bell 1910

Winthrop Bell

Brief life of a philosopher and spy: 1884-1965

Illustration of people talking to each other with colorful thought bubbles above their heads

Talking about Talking

Fostering healthy disagreement

Vacationing with a Purpose

New England “summer camps” for adults