New York museum breaks ground on long-awaited renovation project

The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York, breaks ground on its new West Wing project and expansion. Image courtesy Hudson River Museum
The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York, breaks ground on its new West Wing project and expansion.
Image courtesy Hudson River Museum

The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York, has broken ground on its long-awaited West Wing capital improvement project.

The project includes much-needed improvements, such as dedicated special exhibition galleries, a sculpture court, a 100 tiered-seat auditorium, necessary art storage space, and a climate control system, which will allow the museum to organize and present cutting-edge exhibitions. The project will also allow the museum to display and interpret more of its permanent collection while ensuring proper storage and safekeeping of the museum’s repository of cultural heritage.

Designed by Archimuse, the West Wing project expands the museum from approximately 3715 to 4831 m2 (40,000 to 52,000 sf) while seamlessly integrating the enhancements with the existing museum campus, including its center courtyard and the view of the Hudson River and Palisades.

The West Wing is the culmination of a multi-phased master plan that began in 2002. Over the years, additional capital improvements were made to the museum’s entrance and lobby and critically needed updates were made to exhibition galleries and a new special events space.

Special Exhibition Galleries and Sculpture Court

The Special Exhibitions Galleries, a 311-m2 (3350-sf) space, is a 5-m (15-ft) tall specialized facility designed to display world-class art and adhere to rigorous industry conservation standards. It will accommodate the widest range of changing exhibitions and lender requirements, and allow for an exciting variety of installation, performance, multimedia, and large-scale art. The new galleries will also include space for displays that will feature local and emerging artists, including work by artists-in-residence, community collaborations, and partnerships with schools.

In the center of the Special Exhibitions Gallery is a cantilevered glass overlook, which provides a dramatic three-sided panoramic view of the Hudson River and the majestic Palisades, inviting spaces for relaxation and contemplation.

The West Wing’s interior Sculpture Court will provide dedicated space, filled with natural light, in which to experience works from the permanent collection with a clear view to the museum’s Courtyard, Glenview, and the Hudson River. Many of these sculptures have rarely been on view during the past several decades due to space constraints.

Auditorium and terrace

The West Wing will include a tiered 100-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium, responding to the natural cascading grade. The universally accessible auditorium will allow the museum to present multimedia presentations and performances, film and video projection, dance, lectures, and panel discussions.

The existing outdoor patio adjoining the auditorium will be transformed into a terrace. The terrace will be upgraded with a new concrete slab and glass parapet, connecting the auditorium with the Hudson Room, the museum’s special events space overlooking the river.

Art storage

The new 279-m2 (3000-sf) art storage will meet stringent requirements imposed by lender organizations and the American Alliance of Museums to ensure safe housing and display of artwork and conform with current professional standards for collections management and storage.

Subsequent planned phases include the following improvements:

Glenview Historic House

The exterior of Glenview, the museum’s 1877 riverfront home on the National Register of Historic Places and fashioned in a Late Victorian style, will receive conservation to its stone and woodwork, roof, and windows.

Museum roof repair

The museum’s existing 1969 building, its galleries and planetarium, need a new roof. A technologically advanced roof surface will be installed on the entire 1858 m2 (20,000 sf) existing museum building roof and high-performance insulation will increase energy efficiency.

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