The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art is celebrating the end of a year long renovation project. Thursday night they are hosting a “Transformation Celebration”, where the public will be able to see the changes. One of the most visible changes is outside of the building. The main entrance has a brand new look, which includes the addition of a staircase.
Many of you may remember that up until last year they had a large ramp leading into the building. Museum officials say the ramp was installed in the 80s to make the building handicapped accessible. When they added the education entrance in 2004, which was also handicap accessible, the ramp was no longer needed. Since the ramp took up so much of the sidewalk and closed off the main doors, the museum began looking at the possibility of taking out the ramp in order to open up the front entrance-making it more inviting.
”What we found is it created this great public plaza, an area where people can sit, they could congregate, face out into the park, and look at the library. It gave us a place for public sculpture and give people a space to congregate, sit, relax, think about art and hopefully wonder into the museum,” said Sean Ulmer, Executive Dir. of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art,
The museum raised $1.4 million to make the renovations. In addition to redoing the front entrance, they also landscaped around the building and will be adding benches and planters. A new roof was put on the Carnegie side of the building, flood protection measures installed, and new LED lights were put in the gallery. They've also taken the art outside, a new sculpture outside the front entrance will be unveiled at the Transformation Celebration. That begins with a ribbon cutting here on the front steps at 5 p.m. The public will be able to tour the museum inside and out. There will be refreshments, live music, and kids activities until 9 p.m.
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