Tampa Museum of Art to transform downtown skyline with $68M expansion

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Downtown Tampa city skyline is set to get a boost in the near future thanks to a new addition being constructed for the Tampa Museum of Art.

When completed in 2024, the crystalline, four-story structure to the Hillsborough River waterfront will double the museum’s exhibition spaces and triple its education spaces.

Museum officials made the announcement Monday, saying that New York-based Weiss/Manfredi architecture firm will be designing the expansion. Weiss/Manfredi, which combines landscape, architecture, infrastructure, and art, is responsible for cultural landmarks such as Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, and the Baker Museum at Artis—Naples.

“This is a transformational project for Tampa and the wider region,” said Michael Tomor, the Penny and Jeff Vinik Executive Director at the Tampa Museum of Art. “After announcing our renovation earlier this year, our board and community stepped up to allow the museum to grow even further, providing overwhelmingly generous support for our community partnerships and expanded education programs.”

The Tampa Museum of Art celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020 and its current building opened its doors in 2010.

“The expansion of the museum is going to incorporate so many different amenities that will draw the community in and create a feeling of ownership,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. “Looking at the future of the Tampa Museum of Art really goes hand-in-hand with the growth of our city as being very dynamic, very robust, and having something for everyone here in the city of Tampa.”

A release from the museum also noted that the expansion will “rejuvenate outdoor spaces that extend beyond the museum structure,” such as creating pedestrian plazas between the public park spaces adjacent to the Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, and two new dog parks.

Some of the other improvements include:

  • Expanding the museum’s gross area from 69,000 to 125,000 sq. ft.
  • Expanding the education space from 1,400 to more than 12,000 sq. ft. This involves adding a new auditorium and education wing, including four classrooms, a lobby, orientation spaces, and a secure entrance, which will allow the Museum to quadruple the number of students it serves per year from 6,000 to 24,000. Culinary arts classes on the third-floor rooftop area will also be added to its education program offerings.
  • Growing the exhibition and collection space from 14,800 to more than 43,000 sq. ft. This enhances the viewing experience with five additional galleries, a renovated sculpture gallery, a flexible multimedia gallery space, and an art exhibition program within the special events ballroom. The expansion will particularly benefit art in publicly accessible spaces, in special event spaces, corridors, outdoor sculpture terraces, rooftop terraces, as well as outside on sites redeveloped for public sculpture and convening.
  • Enhancing the visitor experience with almost 12,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to a new covered entrance, lobby, store, and café.
  • Tripling the event space, from 7,200 to 25,600 sq. ft., that can host dinners for 500 and other events.

For more information on the museum’s expansion, visit the Tampa Museum of Art’s website.

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