Thursday, March 05, 2009

Court oks Gardner expansion, demolition

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum reports that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a ruling Wednesday that the museum’s proposed restoration and expansion project is “entirely consistent with the primary purpose” of Gardner’s will. And so, the museum says, its building project may proceed.

It’s a major victory for the museum’s leaders. And a rejection of opponents – including the Friends of Historic Mission Hill – who have fought the plan’s call to demolish buildings on the site to make way for the expansion.

The project includes:
= Some restoration and preservation work in the museum.
= Cutting a hole through Gardner’s Italianate palazzo to create a new entrance.
= Demolishing an abutting carriage house, built during Gardner’s life, and “annex,” built after the great lady’s death, to make room for a new Renzo Piano-designed building. (Piano is scheduled to speak at Harvard Monday about his renovation of the Harvard Art Museum’s building.)
= Razing and replacing five or six green houses, built after Gardner’s death.

More on the court's ruling is here.

Photos of Gardner buildings slated for demolition.


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