What is the Connections Campaign?
The Connections Campaign supports an expansion and renovation project that will greatly enhance accessibility throughout the Portland Art Museum for people of all ages, including those with disabilities. The plans include the central Mark Rothko Pavilion which will connect the Museum’s two buildings providing increased access across multiple levels, added gallery space, and more capacity for education and free public programs.
Why is the project necessary?
The goal is to provide greater accessibility and access to art for everyone. The Museum campus is comprised of two distinct buildings. The Main Building designed by acclaimed architect Pietro Belluschi was completed in 1932, and there were three subsequent additions to accommodate the growing needs of the institution—in 1939, 1958, and 1970 (the Museum Art School). In 2005, the Museum opened the Mark Building, a former Masonic Temple, which includes the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, ballrooms, and administrative offices. Currently, an underground connection links the two buildings. While previous additions and expansions were crucial to the Museum’s ability to fulfill its mission, they had the unintended effect of creating barriers and problematic navigation, particularly for strollers or wheelchairs. The Connections Campaign seeks to address and remove those barriers to access.
How will the expansion and renovation affect visitors?
The project will create a better experience for people of all ages and abilities, including those with disabilities. The Rothko Pavilion will serve as a new central entrance with easily visible and accessible stairs and elevators. Visitors will be able to traverse the entire length of the Museum from North to South via elevated walkways through the Pavilion. Additionally, awkward ramps and stairs throughout both buildings will be addressed. The project also brings much-needed restroom access to the Jubitz Center for Contemporary Art.
How will the Rothko Pavilion change the passageway between 10th Avenue and Park Avenue?
Passage between 10th Avenue and Park Avenue will be open and free to everyone, including bikes and pets, through the Rothko Pavilion every day of the year from 5:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. on weekdays, from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturdays and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. Portland City Council approved this in December 2017.
Will there be opportunities for public comment and participation?
The Museum will continue to engage with the community around public use of the new spaces, and will solicit public participation as the disability advisory is formed and begins their work. Anyone is welcome to leave feedback for project managers.
What is the timeline of the project?
The project is currently in the pre-design, due diligence, and fundraising phase.
Who is on the architecture, design, and construction team?
The Museum is working with Hennebery Eddy Architects for the pre-design phase of the project, with consultation by Vinci Hamp. Learn more.
What considerations are being made to address accessibility?
At its core, the project is about improved accessibility and to that end the Museum has started, and will continue to work with advisors and experts in this area. A thorough ADA audit was conducted in late January 2018. The Museum is also in the process of forming an accessibility advisory committee led by Grant Miller, a community organizer and accessibility consultant.
Will there be changes to the design as the process moves forward?
The design will evolve as the architecture team comes onboard and works toward the right solutions for the Museum.
What will happen to the sculptures that are currently outside the Museum?
Like the art inside the buildings, outdoor sculptures are rotated regularly. Outdoor sculptures will be displayed in the new East and West Plazas, as well other locations around the buildings.
How is the project funded?
The project is being funded primarily through private donations.
What is the status of fund raising?
As of February 2018 the Museum has raised $31 million toward capital and $9 million toward endowment.
Will public money be used for the project?
The project has so far received $1 million from the Oregon Lottery Bonds.
How can I contribute?
Learn more on the Get Involved page.