Stanford News


CONTACT: Jill Osaka, Museum Publicity Coordinator (650) 725-4657

"Topping off" ceremony to mark art museum's progress

The Stanford University Museum of Art will hold a "topping-off" ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 12, between 4:30 and 6 p.m. in the Rodin Sculpture Garden. The occasion will mark a major point of construction on the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, scheduled to open in January 1999.

"Topping off" is a traditional event undertaken when the major structural steel of a construction project is complete. It is celebrated by asking a select group of donors and friends who have had a significant role in the project to sign the "last steel beam," which is then placed in the building structure.

Traditionally, a tree and the American flag are placed on the beam as it is lowered on to the building. The tree is then planted. The symbolism of the tree is to celebrate the fact that no one on the construction project has been hurt.

There will be a brief program between 5:15 and 5:45 p.m. University Provost Condoleezza Rice will thank those involved and offer a toast as the beam is placed in the building.


By Janet Basu