The seven-year quest to create a state museum for contemporary art will be realized this week with the expected start of construction of Vladem Contemporary in the Railyard District.
The 20,000-square-foot brick and steel Halpin building from 1936 will remain, with a 15,000-square-foot second level added diagonally across from the original building. The old building will be based on the original Chili Line railroad tracks next to the future museum, and the extension will be aligned on Guadalupe Street, said Jamie Clements, CEO of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation.
The foundation and the New Mexico Museum of Art jointly announced the start of construction on Tuesday. Work is scheduled to begin as soon as the final permits are in place.
The foundation raised $ 10.5 million in private donations, which will be linked with $ 6 million in government funding for the $ 16.5 million project, which is expected to be completed in 18 months, Clements said in an interview.
The cost of construction itself is $ 14.1 million, with the remainder comprised of architecture and engineering.
The foundation’s stake was part of the Centennial Campaign launched in 2017 for $ 12.5 million.
Vladem Contemporary will serve as the second location for the New Mexico Museum of Art, focusing on contemporary works. Santa Fe residents, Bob and Ellen Vladem, contributed $ 4 million – the largest donation to the foundation – for the perpetual naming rights to the new museum.
The museum has christened the extension “one museum, two locations”.
At the end of 2018, construction is to begin in summer 2019 and open at the end of 2020.
The museum and foundation have been slowed down by the project review process by the City of Historic Districts Review Board, the Department of Historic Preservation of New Mexico, and public contributions. The process pushed to downplay some of the modern elements.
Revisions by the architects DNCA from Santa Fe and Studio GP from Albuquerque made external changes to a design that originally had a metal mesh on all four sides, but now only has the metal on the north and south sides.
“We have a building that is fully compatible with the historic district and the train station,” said Clements.
Clements said he could see Gilberto Guzman’s 40-year-old mural entitled. do not address Multicultural that many locals lamented the loss. A press release said the mural “is being withdrawn as part of the renovation and the museum plans to honor the mural and its history with an exhibition inside.” Museum executive director Mark A. White did not immediately respond to a telephone message asking for comment.
The general contractor is Bradbury Stamm Construction from Albuquerque.
The 3,967-square-foot main gallery on the first floor will have a 16-foot ceiling, ideal for oversized contemporary art. The loading dock area is specially designed to make it easy to get large works of art from a truck into the gallery – and also to the elevator to the second level, said former museum director Mary Kershaw The new Mexican in 2018.
The new second level will have a smaller area of 3,150 square feet with a 14-foot-6 ceiling. The second level will also have the art museum’s first own artist studio for an artist or an artist collective in residence.