Fogg Reopening Deferred to 2014

New art-museum schedule reflects complex construction, reinstallation

The Harvard Art Museums disclosed today, following a review of construction and other schedules, that the renovated Fogg Art Museum building (the future home of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler museum collections)—will open to the public in the fall of 2014, nine months to a year later than previously expected. (See models of the renovated space and reinstalled galleries.) The revised schedule, according to a spokesman, reflects several factors:

  • Skanska, the general contractor, now has a better estimate of the time required to complete the construction elements of the project (which it describes as $203 million to $216 million of work)—particularly those elements involved in bracing the historic façade of the Fogg while the rear of the structure was removed and new subsurface floors were created, and restoring the retained portion of the façade itself. (See a photographic record of the construction in progress.)
  • The museums have a better sense of the logistics of moving collections from the Fogg, the Sackler, and the former Busch-Reisinger facility (now razed as part of the Fogg reconstruction and expansion), and to and from the secure off-site storage facility.
  • And, museum staff have more accurately calculated the challenges of reinstalling the integrated collections into the new 43,000 square feet of gallery space that the construction will yield (more than 40 percent larger than the 33,000 square feet of galleries in the old Fogg, Sackler, and Busch-Reisinger combined).

The steel skeleton of the Fogg addition, designed by Renzo Piano, is being rapidly erected now; the building is expected to be weather-tight by the end of this calendar year, with interior construction continuing, and then making way for the protracted work of reinstalling the works of art and the museums' curatorial, conservation, and other staff who have been dispersed in recent years, and fitting up the new centers where faculty members and students can study works from the collections.

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