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Construction begins on renovated museum

STANFORD -- Construction begins this month to rebuild and expand the 101-year-old Stanford University Museum of Art, which was severely damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The new 120,000-square-foot center, which will be known as the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, is scheduled for completion in 1998.

In 1993, University President Gerhard Casper initiated a policy of conducting international competitions for the selection of architects for university construction projects, and the museum was one of the first buildings on campus to fall under the new policy. In 1994 Polshek and Partners Architects of New York and San Francisco was selected to design the new center. The firm is known for its work on cultural and educational institutions, including the Brooklyn Museum, Carnegie Hall, the Ed Sullivan Theater and the Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, as well as Bard College, Smith College, Phillips Academy, the Choate School and New York University. Principal architect for the Stanford arts complex is Richard Olcott, senior designer and associate partner.

Construction of the new center will include renovation and seismic strengthening of the museum, the building of a new addition, the enhancement of the B. Gerald Cantor Rodin Sculpture Garden and the development of new sculpture garden areas. A new 42,000-square-foot wing will include galleries for the display of contemporary art and special exhibitions, a cafe and a book shop, as well as a 120-seat lecture/performance hall.

Stanford art patrons Iris and B. Gerald Cantor have pledged $10 million to establish the new center. A fundraising campaign, headed by museum director Thomas K. Seligman, has raised $31 million to date, including a $6 million commitment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. More than 700 friends of the museum have made commitments to support the project, ranging from a student's $5 donation to the Cantors' gift.



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