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Bentonville panel OKs Crystal Bridges expansion plan

by Mike Jones | October 22, 2021 at 3:08 a.m.

BENTONVILLE -- The city Planning Commission has approved the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's expansion plan.

Commission members voted 7-0 for the large-scale development. The museum, which opened Nov. 11, 2011, is at 600 Museum Way.

The museum in April revealed plans for an expansion that will increase its size by 50%, adding 100,000 square feet to the 200,000-square-foot facility, according to a news release.

The new space will increase capacity for presenting art and exhibitions, educational and outreach initiatives, cultural programming and community events, according to the release.

Construction on phase two will start in February and is expected to be complete in October 2025, said Diane Carroll, chief communications officer for the Alice L. Walton Foundation.

Safdie Architects of Boston, the museum's original designer, will work with the expansion to ensure consistency in the design.

"It's wonderful to see how our community, our region and travelers to Bentonville from across the nation and around the world have embraced Crystal Bridges, and enjoyed the experience of being surrounded by art, nestled in nature, and immersed in Moshe Safdie's architecture," Alice Walton, Crystal Bridges' founder and board chairperson, said in the release.

"With the number of visitors we welcome annually, it's timely to enlarge our building and make sure more people can access these offerings. Having Safdie Architects expand on its original Crystal Bridges design with this new addition will create a unified experience for enjoying art, nature, and architecture," Walton said.

The museum also is collaborating with the adjacent Amazeum to create a 309,000-square-foot play area called Convergence and a six-story parking deck with 820 spaces and a performance area, according to planning documents submitted to the city.

Convergence and the parking deck will be built on 4 acres on the southeast side of Crystal Bridges' campus and the adjoining western edge of the Amazeum's property.

The parking deck is 30% complete with an expected completion date in late 2022, Carroll said.

Print Headline: Crystal Bridges expansion OK'd


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