Miami Art Museum breaks ground for new building

By Allie Schwartz….

Pictured (l-r) are Miami Art Museum (MAM) director Thom Collins; Miami-Dade County Commission vice chairelect Audrey M. Edmonson, MAM Board of Trustees chair Aaron Podhurst, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman, Miami-Dade County manager George M. Burgess, and Herzog & de Meuron senior partner Christine Binswanger.

Following years of planning and anticipation, Miami Art Museum (MAM) has broken ground for its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed facility in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park and next to the future home of the Miami Science Museum.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the museum’s new site overlooking Biscayne Bay. The new Miami Art Museum is scheduled to open to the public in 2013.

“Miami Art Museum’s groundbreaking at Museum Park is a giant step forward in Miami’s emergence as one of the world’s great cultural cities,” said Aaron Podhurst, chairman of Miami Art Museum’s board of trustees. “The launch of this construction process signals that the public and private sectors are committed to enhancing Miami’s profile as a global arts destination and we are proud that Miami Art Museum factors prominently into that reputation.

“Our new building will fill many roles – as a repository for our city’s greatest works, a resource for learning, an economic engine in our urban core, a gathering place for Miami residents and visitors, and as an architectural icon of our city.”

The groundbreaking ceremony featured remarks by Podhurst, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Commission vice chair-elect Audrey M. Edmonson, Miami- Dade County manager George M. Burgess and MAM director Thom Collins. Miami- Dade County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman and Herzog & de Meuron senior partner Christine Binswanger also were on-hand for the milestone.

The new Miami Art Museum will comprise 200,000 square feet of programmable space, including 120,000 square feet of interior space — more than three times the size of the museum’s current facility — and 80,000 square feet of exterior space ideal for the display of works of art, educational activities, relaxation and dining. The building will house an educational complex with a library, auditorium, classrooms and workshop space, as well as a café and museum store.

“Launching our construction timeline is certainly an exciting moment in the history of Miami Art Museum and Miami, but I’m most looking forward to the expanded possibilities that the new facility will unlock on the programming side,” Collins said. “From largescale touring exhibitions that will expose Miami to the world’s finest art works, to meaningful educational programs for students young and old, the new Miami Art Museum will be a showcase for the power of the visual arts.”

Total construction costs for the Miami Art Museum project are budgeted at $131 million, comprised of $100 million in Miami- Dade county bond proceeds and $31 million in private sector support raised through the capital campaign. Miami Art Museum has raised an additional $15 million for the institution’s operating endowment and will continue to cultivate donor support throughout the construction project.

Beyond its impact on Miami’s cultural arts community, construction of the new Miami Art Museum is expected to positively influence the local economy. More than $37 million will be spent on local construction labor, and the museum is expected to draw 200,000 new visitors to Downtown Miami each year, accounting for a $12 million annual economic impact, according to a study by Miami Economics Associates.

For more information about Miami Art Museum, visit online at or call 305-375-3000.

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