Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 4:28 pm | Overcast 64º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara Museum of Art Girds for Future by Embarking on Structural Renovation Project

5-year, $50 million undertaking will shore up building deficiencies, expand gallery space and provide new areas for programming `

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, at 1130 State St., has begun a substantial series of renovations and accompanying capital campaign to bring its complex up to current seismic standards and expand its exhibit space. Click to view larger
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, at 1130 State St., has begun a substantial series of renovations and accompanying capital campaign to bring its complex up to current seismic standards and expand its exhibit space. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

Work is now underway for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s comprehensive renovation project.

Increasingly in need of seismic improvements and desiring more gallery space for its considerable number of works, the museum at 1130 State St. is undertaking the most ambitious campaign in its history to raise money for the $50 million project.

“The main reason for the renovation came from critical needs,” Larry Feinberg, the museum’s director, told Noozhawk. “It’s because we found there’s a lot of structural work and seismic retrofitting that has to be done.”

The renovations, expected to take five years, include replacing the roof, overhauling the outdated climate-control system and installing a more advanced loading dock.

Some of the museum buildings are more than a century old and are not up to current seismic standards.

With so much work already needed for safety purposes, Feinberg said, the museum decided it may as well tack on other visitor-experience renovations that it’s had its eye on.

“We also thought we needed to make the museum as a whole better serve the public,” he said.

The planned 20-percent to 25-percent extra gallery space, he said, will allow the museum to show off more of its permanent collections, including Asian artwork, photography collections, contemporary art and 19th- and early 20th-century American art.

Art storage eventually will be moved out of the basement, which has been subject to leaks, and onto the ground-floor space.

A multipurpose room-like space will be added for the 25,000 schoolchildren who participate in museum programming each year, Feinberg said.

Additionally, an event space on the new roof could be rented out for weddings and to individuals and corporations to help raise money for the museum, which has a $7 million to $8 million budget.

Construction work is visible behind the Santa Barbara Museum of Art as contractors replace the roof, foundation and electric transformer. Click to view larger
Construction work is visible behind the Santa Barbara Museum of Art as contractors replace the roof, foundation and electric transformer. (Sam Goldman / Noozhawk photo)

“We really are going full-tilt right now,” Feinberg said.

With all its permits secured, fences have gone up around parts of the museum.

Though its hours and access points have not changed, the McCormick Gallery, four side galleries — Sterling Morton East and West, Campbell and Gould — as well as Asian galleries upstairs are temporarily closed, and exhibitions have been moved to other spaces.

The current first stage of renovations includes clearing out the McCormick Gallery to add steel reinforcements and more shock-resistant concrete to the walls.

Also going on right now, Feinberg said, are exterior work and replacement of the roof, the foundation and the electric transformer, the latter of which will ultimately serve Santa Barbara’s adjacent Central Library and public parking structure.

Feinberg said the fundraising campaign is reaching its halfway point.

“We’re doing pretty well,” he noted.

The work itself will cost about $42 million, Feinberg added, with the other $8 million going toward the establishment of a facilities endowment to ensure that the museum has money to draw on for its backlog of deferred maintenance.

Annually, more than 100,000 people visit the museum, which houses some 28,000 works of art.

Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk staff writer Sam Goldman can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >