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Renovations at Andy Warhol Museum on North Side have Factory appeal

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Andy Warhol Museum
The renovated first floor of the Andy Warhol Museum includes new furniture to create a lounge atmosphere and 20 monitors displaying information about the museum, a Screen Test interactive project in the museum and a feed from Warhol’s gravesite.
Andy Warhol Museum
The retail store at the Andy Warhol Museum on the North Side has been expanded to three times its previous size.

Eric Shiner, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, says renovations at the North Side venue were inspired by the artist's famous New York City studio.

The museum has renovated its first floor with the intention of creating a social hub not necessarily connected with a visit to the museum. It has windows that open up the area; audio-visual equipment showing museum experiences; new furniture to create a lounge atmosphere; and an iPad bar designed for visitors to browse the web and find out more about the museum.

Shiner credits Warhol's Silver Factory as guiding the redesign of the first floor.

“The Factory was a place where high and low, rich and poor, black and white, gay and straight came together,” he says. “We hope to replicate this model, welcoming all to come in, sit down and share ideas without having to pay museum admission.”

Emily Meyer, assistant communication manager of the museum, says the project cost about $800.000.

The lounge-like room is designed for events and rentals, from cocktail get-togethers to formal dinners. It also is designed with acoustic and lighting features in mind, creating the possibility of cabaret-like entertainment.

The Warhol Store also was expanded to three times its previous size.

The work was designed by Desmone & Associates Architects of Lawrenceville and built by the F.J. Busse Co. of Crafton.

The project as funded by the Eden Hall Foundation, the Heinz Endowment and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, along with an anonymous donor.

In the new social space, 20 monitors show display footage such as shots from a Screen Test interactive project in the museum, a feed from Warhol's gravesite, as well as information about upcoming programs and events.

The area also has a floor-to-ceiling enlargement of William John Kennedy “Homage to Warhol's Marilyn,” a look at a famous Marilyn Monroe artwork, and an image of Warhol at the Silver Factory.

Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at bkarlovits@tribweb.com or 412-320-7852.

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