Westmoreland museum begins 'building the future'
A ground-breaking ceremony has been scheduled for noon Friday for the expansion of The Westmoreland Museum of American Art.
“This symbolic gesture of turning over dirt begins the process of building the future Westmoreland,” said Judith O'Toole, museum director and chief executive officer.
The museum's temporary site, Westmoreland@30, will open on July 17 in the former Mt. View Interiors Building (Stickley Audi and Co.) at 1000 Village Drive in Unity, museum officials said.
The museum will expand by about 12,500 square feet, including a wing that will be built on the North Maple Avenue side of the building. Extensive landscaping is planned outside the main door.
The columns at the main entrance will be removed and replaced with a concrete scrim to create a covered walkway. A keystone-shaped window will be put into the brick wall facing North Main Street.
New galleries, classrooms, studios and public gathering spaces will be built, with the grand opening planned for 2015.
The North Main Street gift shop will close on Sunday and reopen at the temporary site on July 17, O'Toole said.
The shop will, however, be open during “A Wrecking Ball Event” scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Saurday in the museum, with an after-party that will end at midnight.
The expansion efforts are part of a $38 million campaign, with $18 million for capital, $16 million for a new endowment and $4 million for operating costs over a five-year period, museum officials said.
So far, $17.6 million has been raised or pledged, O'Toole said.
The farmers market that was held on the museum grounds for the past five years moved last week to a site on Donohoe Road in Hempfield to accommodate the expansion, market manager Paul Sarver said.
“It went well,” he said of the first time vendors set up in a parking lot between Donohoe Center and the Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation building.
Sarver said the city sites he and others looked at didn't offer the right combination of visibility and accessibility that vendors wanted.
The market will continue to operate from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at Lynch Field in Greensburg. It might return to the museum grounds once construction is finished, Sarver said.
“We have a gentleman's agreement. They'd like to have us back,” he said.
Before construction begins, the soldiers and sailors monument outside the museum will be moved.
A benefactor, who wants to remain anonymous, gave most of the roughly $30,000 needed for Raimando Masonry Restoration to move the statue off the museum's grounds, said Lou DeRose, chairman of the citizens' committee that is leading the monument project.
The monument will go into storage until $40,000 to $60,000 can be raised to restore it and erect it in Courthouse Square on Main Street, he said.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Facelift approved for historic La Rose building in Greensburg
- Jewish congregations dwindling, forced to mull viability of worship sites
- Hempfield woman donates music inspired by WWI ‘doughnut girls’
- Hempfield woman seriously injured in crash
- Former Jeannette coach held for trial on charges of assault on teen girls
- Purple Heart recipient Krinock to lead July Fourth parade in Latrobe
- Hempfield bicyclist gets one last chance from Westmoreland County judge
- Smithton man gets 6-12 years for robbery in Jeannette
- State Supreme Court rejects latest Foxley Farm appeal in Ligonier Township dispute
- Independence Day events for Westmoreland County
- Hempfield man pleads guilty in crime spree in North Huntingdon, Jeannette, Unity