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MUSEUM GETS FACELIFT SALEM'S PEABODY

ESSEX EMBARKS ON FINAL PHASE OF ITS


$100M EXPANSION
McCabe, Kathy . Boston Globe ; Boston, Mass. [Boston, Mass]26 Nov 2000: WKN.1.

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ABSTRACT (ABSTRACT)
 
SALEM - Promising to transform Salem into the cultural capital of the North Shore, the Peabody Essex Museum is
set to break ground Tuesday on the second and final phase of its long-awaited $100 million expansion.

Earlier, the museum completed the first phase of the expansion, the restoration of the Phillips Library, home to
400,000 rare books and manuscripts from the combined libraries of the former Peabody Museum and Essex
Institute, which merged in 1992 to create the Peabody Essex Museum.

Caption: 1. Workers moving a marble statue of Greek enchantress Medea during the museum's expansion. /
GLOBE STAFF PHOTO / DAVID KAMERMAN 2. [John Grimes] outside the 1840 Vilate Young House, which will be
moved to make way for the museum's new wing and park. / GLOBE STAFF PHOTO / DAVID KAMERMAN

FULL TEXT
 
NORTH WEEKLY

SALEM - Promising to transform Salem into the cultural capital of the North Shore, the Peabody Essex Museum is
set to break ground Tuesday on the second and final phase of its long-awaited $100 million expansion.

The project, one of the largest museum expansions in the country, will put a new public face on the Peabody Essex,
the largest museum in the North Weekly region. The groundbreaking ceremony begins at 10 a.m.

"This really is a defining moment for the museum," said John O. Parker, chairman of the board of trustees. "As a
result of this, the museum is going to have much broader support and public recognition."

Earlier, the museum completed the first phase of the expansion, the restoration of the Phillips Library, home to
400,000 rare books and manuscripts from the combined libraries of the former Peabody Museum and Essex
Institute, which merged in 1992 to create the Peabody Essex Museum.

The second phase of the expansion, estimated to cost $65 million, will dramatically reshape the museum's
presence in downtown Salem. The project requires the relocation of historic buildings, construction of a new wing
and the creation of outdoor public park space.

Key elements include:

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Construction of five new galleries to allow for changing exhibitions and designed by museum architect Moshe
Safdie.

Reconstruction of an 18th-century Chinese ancestral home, which will re-create 200 years of Chinese culture, in
downtown Salem.

A 185-seat auditorium that will be used to host public events, and an interactive family education center.

A public garden, designed by landscape architect Michael van Valkenburgh, whose other undertakings include the
restoration of Harvard Yard.

A memorial park on the site of the former Salem Armory facade that will honor the long and distinguished military
history of veterans from around Essex County.

The expansion is necessary for the Peabody Essex, renowned for its collection of maritime and Asian export art, to
display more of its collections. Currently, the museum is able to display less than 2 percent of its more than
400,000 objects and 1 million works of art.

New climate-controlled gallery space will enable the museum to improve permanent exhibitions and host more
traveling shows from other museums. Public programming, too, is expected to increase, with the creation of the
museum's first auditorium and an improved family education center.

"The museum is going to be able to do far more things than ever before. Our programming, which has already been
enhanced, will only continue to improve. On the collections side, it's extremely important for us to have the space
that we've never had before to showcase many of our important collections," Parker said.

The expansion of the Peabody Essex Museum has been closely watched in museum circles. The project received
an unprecedented $20 million gift from the Fidelity Foundation, the giving arm of Fidelity Investments. It ranks
among the largest single gifts ever made to an American museum.

So far, the museum has raised $85 million for its Third Century Fund, an asset-building campaign launched in 1993
to fund the expansion. Although the museum still must raise the final $15 million, Parker said the board expects to
meet its goal. "We've made huge progress with our fund-raising. People have been wonderfully generous, but we
still have a lot of work to do," he said.

Future fund-raising may be helped by progress already being made on the museum campus. Site preparation has
begun with the demolition of the former Empire clothing store and the excavation of three historic buildings that
must be relocated to make room for the new wing.

An 1876 red schoolhouse, once used as a biology school for the former Peabody Museum, was moved from one
side of Charter Street to another. Meanwhile, two 19th-century homes, previously used for museum staff housing
and office space, have been excavated in preparation for their move, about 400 feet from their current locations on
Liberty and Charter streets to Hawthorne Boulevard.

"In many ways this is a massive, well-coordinated chess game," said John Grimes, the museum's deputy director of
special projects, during a walk through the site. "It requires absolute precision and a lot of patience, but in the end

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it will create a tremendous enhancement to our facilities."

Construction, scheduled to be completed in mid-2003, will require the permanent closing of Liberty Street, which
runs through the museum campus, by the middle of next month to make way for the new wing. During
construction, the museum will remain open for exhibitions and functions, but the main entrance will temporarily
move to the museum's Oriental Garden.

The museum is also in the process of boxing up its priceless collections, many of which will be kept in storage for
safe keeping, while construction is underway. "It's a massive effort to pack up 400,000 objects and other parts of
our collections, to store them in temporary spaces," Grimes said. "It's going to be a very tight fit around here for the
next three years."

Illustration
Caption: 1. Workers moving a marble statue of Greek enchantress Medea during the museum's expansion. /
GLOBE STAFF PHOTO / DAVID KAMERMAN 2. John Grimes outside the 1840 Vilate Young House, which will be
moved to make way for the museum's new wing and park. / GLOBE STAFF PHOTO / DAVID KAMERMAN

DETAILS

Subject: Expansion; Renovation &restoration; Museums

Location: Salem Massachusetts

Company / organization: Name: Peabody &Essex Museum-Salem MA; NAICS: 712110

Publication title: Boston Globe; Boston, Mass.

Pages: WKN.1

Number of pages: 0

Publication year: 2000

Publication date: Nov 26, 2000

Section: North Weekly

Publisher: Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC

Place of publication: Boston, Mass.

Country of publication: United States, Boston, Mass.

Publication subject: General Interest Periodicals--United States

ISSN: 07431791

Source type: Newspapers

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Language of publication: English

Document type: Feature

ProQuest document ID: 405365598

Document URL: https://search.proquest.com/docview/405365598?accountid=13661

Copyright: Copyright Boston Globe Newspaper Nov 26, 2000

Last updated: 2017-11-10

Database: Boston Globe

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