Crocker Museum unveils ambitious plans to revamp park into new front portal

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 1:42 AM

But the museum’s ambitions didn’t finish there. Museum executive this week revealed initial plans for a major remake of adjacent Crocker Park. It'd turn the tired and lightly used 2.5-acre space into a multi-use front door for the museum.

Crocker Museum unveils ambitious plans to revamp park into new front portal

Crocker Art Museum opened a $100 million expansion six years ago to rave reviews, turning the once-sleepy gallery into a showpiece art campus. But the museum’s ambitions didn’t end there.

Museum executive this week revealed initial plans for a major remake of adjacent Crocker Park. It'd turn the tired and lightly used 2.five-acre space into a multi-use front door for the museum.

The remake, which could cost around $30 million, is envisioned to have an indoor-outdoor event center, a sculpture garden, an elevated area for views of the river and city, a children’s play area, a performance area, water features, and walkways that stretch a obstruct and a half N to Capitol Mall close Third Street.

Museum Director Lial Jones said the map represents the logical following step from the museum’s two thousand ten expansion and will solve one of the facility’s biggest ongoing problems: lack of parking.

Conceptual drawings by !melk, a New York-based architecture firm, indicate hidden underground and ground-level parking. Currently, visitors frequently struggle to discover parking in the area and should feed city meters that limit their visit to two hours.

Jones said museum executive wish to create “a grand civic space” that'll widen the experience for museum visitors, but also serve the tens of thousands of new residents expected in downtown and the W Sacramento waterfront in the next decade-plus.

“It’s a terrific project; it’s finishing what we started,” Jones said. “We’re excited.”

Jones said museum executive would love to move quickly. “A three-year project is ambitious,” she said. “Five years is maybe a tiny more realistic.”

The park redo will require a massive fundraising effort, much love what was required to construct the 125.000-square-foot wing and courtyard following to the museum’s original structure, the one thousand eight hundred seventy-two Victorian Italianate building commissioned by Judge Edwin B. Crocker.

Jones said the park renovation and expansion cost won't be known for some time. The museum is about six months far from initial design plans. But she said it could be in the $30 million range.

Museum executive intend to couple the expansion effort with fundraising to feed the museum’s endowment, which sits at $14 million, too low to fund a museum of this size, Jones said. Her board’s goal, she said, is to widen the endowment by $25 million to $50 million. Fundraising will likely get three years.

“We necessity to safe the museum’s future,” Jones said. “We are an under-resourced institution.”

Crocker Park has already been designated by the city for future utilize by the museum. Jones said the museum is interested in expanding the footprint if it can acquire a second slice of land, currently a parking lot, that sits between Crocker Park and Interstate 5 to the west.

That package is one of two adjacent to Crocker Park that the city of Sacramento is giving to the Sacramento Kings as portion of the downtown sports and entertainment arena deal. Kings executive declined comment on their plans for the parcel, but indicated they'll be willing to speak to museum officials.

“At this time it’s too early for us to discuss any plans for (the lot) as we focus on opening Golden one Middle in October,” Kings President Chris Granger wrote in an email. “We’re pleased of our investments in Sacramento and always interested in having conversations about making our community a better place.”

The project will comprise a major public art piece in two parts, one portion on the riverbank in Sacramento, the other on the bank in W Sacramento. Shelly Willis of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission said the piece is portion of a larger map by her commission and the two cities to create downtown and the riverfront areas more inviting for pedestrians by offering a thematic art experience.

Crocker executive are showing early conceptual designs this week to museum members and others to obtain reactions and solicit ideas. “We wish to obtain more voices to create sure we're thinking as broadly and deeply as possible in coming up with what's best for our community,” Jones said.

The plans indicate an event middle in the southwest corner of Crocker Park, across O Str from the new wing of the museum, set in a way that allows a clear view to the museum from Capitol Mall. Some plans indicate it in Crocker Park, others indicate what it'd see love if the museum moved Second Str W to widen the park footprint.

Drawings indicate the events middle tucked below an elevated greensward, with an open glass wall that spills onto a patio. Architects declare they're looking at a design that'll authorize a covering to be pulled outward to expand the usable space.

The elevated area would serve to muffle freeway noise and create a vantage point for people to get in views of the river and cityscape, architects said. It also could authorize for a hidden parking structure.

Designers declare they're considering narrowing O Str in front of the museum and at times, such as major events, limiting it to pedestrians only.

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