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The Asheville Art Museum Plans to Expand

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum, celebrating its 60th anniversary and its extraordinary growth and success since it relocated to Pack Square in 1992 as a founding partner in Pack Place, is pleased to announce plans for a future expansion. These plans were discussed at a meeting with the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

As Pack Place partner The Health Adventure plans to leave downtown, the Asheville Art Museum is taking advantage of this opportunity to expand and create larger, state-of-the-art galleries, public art-filled space and education space to meet the demands of the large and diverse audiences it serves. With the agreement of all Pack Place partners, the Asheville Art Museum determined that it could develop its facility creating a central arts destination and 21st-century museum for the community by expanding in its current location.

“The new design will bring a contemporary feel to the most important corner of downtown. It will also honor our great history of architecture and the sense of place on Pack Square. My dad, Roger McGuire, helped found Pack Place, and he hoped that Pack Place would grow and change. This is exactly the kind of exciting evolution he would have wanted,” said Kim McGuire, a community leader and Museum supporter.

After an exhaustive recruitment process conducted by the Asheville Art Museum staff, board and a building committee of local design professionals including Jim Samsel, John Rogers, Peter Alberice and others, the renowned firm Polshek Partnership Architects of New York has been chosen to design the new Asheville Art Museum and restore the historic Pack Memorial Library building. Polshek is continuing to work with John Rogers, Beverly-Grant and the building committee.

The Museum needs to expand in order to better serve Western North Carolina and visitor audiences of all ages and to help Asheville remain competitive with other cities’ as a top arts destination. A study completed by the Asheville Art Museum documented the overall economic impact of the Museum’s current activities and the future increase that will be generated by the expansion. The Museum’s planned expansion project is anticipated to generate as much as $31.7 million in local economic impact with up to 80% of construction funds spent regionally. The new Museum will be a destination and art-filled civic center.

The Pack Place Board and the Asheville Art Museum are planning with all of Pack Place’s partners for a successful transition and even more success in the future. The new building will anchor the new Pack Square Park and continue to be the central arts destination spurring economic and cultural activity in the region and downtown Asheville.

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