Norton Museum of Art Has Funded Half Its Foster + Partners Expansion

The target number is $60 million.

Rendering of the Norton Museum of Art expansion. Photo: Foster + Partners.
Rendering of the Norton Museum of Art expansion. Photo: Foster + Partners.

As the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, prepares to break ground on its Foster + Partners—designed expansion in 2016, the institution has launched the second phase of its capital campaign, which has already raised nearly $34 million, more than half of the museum’s $60 million goal.

The Norton’s expansion, slated to begin as the museum kicks off its 75th anniversary year, relocates the main entrance to the west side, facing the busy South Dixie Highway. The parking lot at the current south side will become a sculpture garden, connected to the building by a glass colonnade, that will host the museum’s weekly “Art after Dark” culture and entertainment series. Gallery space will increase by 12,000 square feet, and a state-of-the-art auditorium will be built.

“Foster + Partners’ plan pays homage to the Museum’s past by restoring the clarity and symmetry of the original building, but also looks to its future as a leading museum in Florida” said Norton board of trustees chair Harry Howell in a statement. “The design responds to the changing needs of 21st-century museum audiences, and will allow us to better serve our audiences.”

The museum’s ambitious plans follows that of other South Florida institutions such as the Pérez Art Museum Miami, which just completed a successful first year, and the newly formed ICA Miami, which will begin construction on its new building this summer (see Beatriz Milhazes and Mario Garcia Torres Show Boldly at the Pérez Art Museum and The ICA Miami Will Build a New Home).

Close to $30 million has been donated by the museum’s board of trustees, with a $5 million lead gift from Bob Stiller and his wife Christine. Seventeen donations including those of the Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Foundation and the William Randolph Hearst Foundations, have been for over $1 million.

“To have reached the halfway point in a $60 million capital campaign before launching the public phase, and more than a year before breaking ground,” said the museum’s executive director, Hope Alswang, in a statement, “is a testament to the extraordinary generosity of our trustees, and the community’s belief in the importance of this project.”


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