“The Tacoma Art Museum recently unveiled its first detailed model of the museum’s planned new home. Designed by architect Antoine Predock in conjunction with executive architects Olson Sundberg of Seattle, the new museum is scheduled for groundbreaking in late 2000, with an opening in 2003.The new 50,000 square-foot Tacoma Art Museum will be one block from the Washington State History Museum and Union Station at 16th and Pacific in downtown Tacoma. The museum will take its place along with other planned Tacoma museums – the Museum of Glass and LeMay Car Museum.The museum’s public spaces are designed to draw in the community. Included in the museum’s plans are a grand plaza with a view of Mount Rainier, a clear glass lobby facing Pacific Avenue, a museum store, café, and large event space for films, lectures, performances, seminars and special events.A large display of glass art by Dale Chihuly is set to draw visitors into the galleries. From the lobby, the museum is designed to flow into a gradual processional ascent through the galleries, which wrap around a central atrium and enclosed mist moss garden, benefiting from natural light.The first gallery will be dedicated to displays from TAM’s collection and Northwest art. With over 12,000 square feet of galleries, the exhibition space is designed to be flexible to allow one large exhibit or several smaller ones.After the first gallery, visitors will be led up to additional galleries. These will hold changing exhibitions from TAM’s collection or traveling exhibitions.Space for educational programs and work space are to be enhanced in the new museum. Infrastructure will also be improved for ease of installation of exhibits and storage.TAM’s capital campaign has raised approximately $21.6 million so far toward a goal of $25 million.The contractor for the museum project is Hoffman Construction of Seattle. Building size is 50,000 square feet with a 125-space parking garage.Exterior construction will be primarily brushed stainless steel, glass and wood.”
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