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The Whitney Plans Downtown Relocation


Uptown seems to be prime real estate for New York’s premier art institutions. You have the MET and the Guggenheim in the Upper East Side, the Museum of Natural History in the Upper West Side, and the MoMA centered in bustling Midtown. For the past 47 years, the Whitney Museum of American Art also called Upper Manhattan its home at the corner of 75th Street and Madison Avenue. But in a few years, the American arts museum intends to revamp its presence in the city with a new main building in the Meatpacking District.


The new building is set to open in 2015, situated between the High Line and Hudson River. The Downtown location will provide more than 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries along with 13,000 square feet of outdoor space for installations, performances, and various events. The building, which was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, will include a lobby gallery, two floors of permanent collections, a 170-seat theater boasting views of the Hudson, a Conservation Lab, and an open space on the top floor for contemporary art projects.


The Whitney plans to continue presenting exhibitions and holding events at the Madison Avenue location until late 2014. After the museum moves into its new home, the American Museum of Natural History plans to use the Old Whitney building for its own exhibitions and special programming for a period of eight years. So in other words, the Whitney is moving out and the Natural History Museum is moving in. I guess there was too much competition Uptown.

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