Mexican Museum reveals interior design for permanent site 

click to enlarge The new location of the Mexican Museum at 706 Mission St. — which will take up four stories — will be able to display art that the museum was not previously able to display. - COURTESY RENDERING
  • Courtesy rendering
  • The new location of the Mexican Museum at 706 Mission St. — which will take up four stories — will be able to display art that the museum was not previously able to display.

Galleries, rotating exhibitions, an education center, an auditorium and a restaurant.

Those are among the features that will accompany more than 15,000 pieces of art celebrating the Latino community when the first permanent home of the Mexican Museum since 1982 opens. Crews are expected to break ground on the new site at 706 Mission St. next spring.

This week, renditions designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten were revealed showing the interior and exterior of the museum, which will be located on the first four floors of a new 43-story mixed-use Millennium Partners building, along with the first four floors of the adjacent Aronson Building.

The 52,000-square-foot museum -- about seven times larger than its current site at Fort Mason -- will include a two-story gallery and showcase art previously unable to be displayed due to limited space at Fort Mason, said Andrew Kluger, the Mexican Museum's board chairman.

"It's very beautiful," Kluger said of the future museum space. "It really amplifies our tapestry to the community at large."

A collection of tapestries and textiles, along with four of the museum's more than 15 sculptures, are among the works of art unable to be exhibited at Fort Mason.

"We just have so many pieces that now, it will give much more ample space for those to be shown," Kluger said. "We could have easily a tenfold number of people on a weekly basis."

With its educational rooms and auditorium, the new museum will also accommodate more school programs.

"We really want to make this an educational space for young children and families as well," Kluger said.

The $28 million needed for construction has already been raised, and the museum has been finalizing $8 million in grants from The City to build the interior. The museum has also received $5 million for its endowment fund and has been looking to raise another $25 million to help sustain museum operations.

Construction is also set to begin next year on the mixed-use building by Millennium Partners, which will include between 145 and 190 residential units. The project, slated to be completed by 2018, also includes restoring the historic Aronson Building, which will serve as the face of the Mexican Museum.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by condo owners at the nearby Four Seasons seeking to block the project is pending, though a separate, similar case was previously dismissed.

"We've been successful in every phase of the project to date," said PJ Johnston, a spokesman for Millennium Partners. "We've already seen one legal challenge dismissed, and we expect to be successful in any litigation that comes our way. We're maintaining our focus on the work we have ahead."

About The Author

Laura Dudnick

Bio:
Laura Dudnick, a Bay Area native, covers education and planning for The San Francisco Examiner. She previously worked as a senior local editor for Patch.com, and as the San Mateo County bureau reporter and weekend editor for Bay City News Service.
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