Crocker Museum outlines plans to break ground on new art park by next year
Leaders of the Crocker Art Museum Tuesday laid out plans to break ground on the museum’s new art park and adjacent parking garage by fall of 2020.
The art park and garage would occupy the city block now covered by Crocker Park, which was cleared in the 1960s for urban renewal and currently has few amenities. Plans include shifting Second Street westward to create more room for the multi-story parking garage.
Museum Director and CEO Lial Jones told City Council an ongoing capital campaign has so far raised $37 million in private donations out of $90 million needed for the project. Architects were hired in January.
The Council voted to ask City Manager Howard Chan to bring back a financing plan for the expansion. Councilmember Jay Schenirer said the expectation has always been that the city would pay for about one-third of the cost for expanding the city-owned museum.
Councilmembers praised the museum staff for the Crocker’s many community and youth programs, which last year reached 30,000 school children — more than half of them outside the museum through outreach programs such as Art Ark, the museum’s mobile education center.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg said the Crocker “is not only about fine art, it is about community. Every time I’m there I see it, and it’s always overflowing.”
Jones said the expansion would include art installations in the park and a “jewel box” gallery that could host exhibitions and programs – further bringing art outside the museum walls to the community at large.