Philadelphia Museum Of Art Breaks Ground On Frank Gehry-Designed Expansion

The museum begins construction on a new entrance, new gallery spaces and more...

Exciting things are happening at the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art!

Last week, the museum broke ground on a brand-new (and highly anticipated) expansion, which will add tens of thousands of square feet to the galleries and public spaces.


  • The Philadelphia Museum of Art broke ground on The Core Project, a 23,000-square-foot expansion.
  • The expansion will add tens of thousands of square feet to the galleries and public spaces at the museum.
  • The Core Project will also unveil new space for the modern and American art galleries.

The Master Plan

Plans to renovate the main building have been under consideration for more than a decade, with an initial integrated Facilities Master Plan completed by architectural engineering firm Vitetta in 2004 and design development by Frank Gehry and his group dating back to 2006.

Gehry, renowned around the world for such expressive buildings as the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, has taken a very different approach with the Philadelphia Museum of Art project. Gehry was tasked with updating the interior of the museum while keeping the exterior of the proclaimed “Parthenon on the Parkway” the same. In other words, the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s exterior will remain the same throughout the process.

Guests can view Gehry’s renderings and an architectural model of the designs in a first-floor gallery in the museum. The model and renderings will be on view until late 2018.

The Core Project

The Core Project phase of the Master Plan is currently underway at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This phase will add 23,000 square feet of space to the modern and American galleries and add new education spaces and public areas for museum guests.

This phase of the plan will also reopen spaces that haven’t been accessible to the public in more than 50 years, including the museum’s north entrance off of Kelly Drive. Once completed, the entrance will open up a sweeping vaulted walkway. Dining areas and meeting spaces will also be redesigned during The Core Project.

The main aspects of The Core Project — including the reopening of the North entrance — will be completed in 2019. Other aspects of this monumental project will be completed in 2020.

The museum will remain open throughout the duration of The Core Project, but signs of the expansion will be visible in spaces like the north entrance and the food service areas. Note that the galleries will remain fully open and accessible.

Stay tuned for more on the exciting additions to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Groundbreaking of The Core Project at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

When:Through 2020
Where:Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia



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