Campus rendering

Museum readies for expansion

Relocation of the loading dock begins a project designed to make the Museum more accessible.

The Portland Art Museum was founded 130 years ago, and since then we have grown alongside our community both physically and programmatically. The intervening decades have seen new building additions, renovations, and retrofitting—all in the pursuit of creating an ever-more expansive experience with art. While curators bring the world to Oregon and Oregon to the world and explore new ways of collecting, exhibiting, and collaborating, we have emerged as a more inclusive museum.

Despite our success over the past 130 years, your Museum is not as accessible as it could, or should, be. Our campus spans two buildings that are connected only through an underground link that must be accessed through a network of stairs and aging elevators. The spaces that we occupy don’t yet serve their purpose of providing an accessible and welcoming experience for all visitors, but we have a plan to fix them.

Campus rendering

That is why the Portland Art Museum is planning to transform its campus. Today, we are starting with the relocation of our loading dock. In its current location, the Museum loading dock shares space with school bus loading and the only accessible ramp for visitors unable to use stairs. With direction from City Officials and the Bureau of Transportation, the new loading dock is unique for the area because trucks enter and exit in a forward motion only during off-peak hours, and the entire operation occurs exclusively on the Museum campus, thus minimizing impact on the flow traffic.

A version with ASL interpretation and closed captions can be viewed here.

Timeline of the Portland Art Museum building

What’s Next? Later this year, we will announce construction on a new, central glass pavilion—The Mark Rothko Pavilion.