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April 6, 2006
With the donation of an 8,000-sf adjacent land parcel and 80% of the anticipated $45-milllion cost raised, Boston Children’s Museum has broken ground for its expansion and renovation. Completion is scheduled for the summer of 2007, when the museum will be renamed Children’s Wharf Park.
Frank McCourt, a local landowner who also owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, donated the land. The addition of the lot, “immediately provides children and families with public open space on Boston Harbor, greater accessibility for students visiting the museum and enhancements to the entire Fort Point Channel neighborhood,” says Lou Casagrande, the museum’s president and CEO. The fund-raising campaign is the largest capital campaign in the museum’s history and includes donations from private philanthropists and locally based corporations and foundations.
Plans call for a 23,000-sf, three-story addition adjacent to the existing 150,000-sf, six-story building. It is a former 117-year-old wool warehouse that the museum has occupied since 1979, and it is being fully renovated. Among the additions are updated versions of the existing Playspace, Bubbles and KidStage areas, a new entrance and box office, climbing structure and health and wellness center. The signature giant milk bottle located outside the museum will remain.
The building architect is Cambridge Seven Associates, and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates is the landscape architect. The local office of Leggat McCall Properties is handling project management.