Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ranks of officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on the $68 million Queens Museum expansion project.
“There always seems to be something new and magical happening in this incredible space,” the head of the city said. “It really is an experience like no other. This is one of the great cultural institutions that provides art-inspiring experiences that you can find nowhere else.”
The Queens Museum, formerly known as the Queens Museum of Art, shortened its name but doubled its size to 105,000 square feet, officials said.
It will feature new galleries, classrooms, a new wing with nine artist studios and a sky-lit atrium when it reopens to the public on November 9.
“We have expressed openness in this space. We’re open to new ideas. We’re open to the future of arts. We’re open to contemporary. We’re also open to the community, open to the sky,” said Tom Finkelpearl, the museum’s executive director.
Queens Museum will also have its own 5,000-square-foot public library in 2015, library officials said. It will house about 14,000 books.
“The expanded Queens Museum will become an exciting destination for not only our out-of-town visitors but for our residents alike,” said Borough President Helen Marshall. “We are going to have something here that will be unique in the city of New York. I can’t see it do anything but be a wonderful place to come for everyone.”
The transformed city-owned building is located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the former space of the World’s Fair ice skating rink.
Its massive facelift, designed by Grimshaw, was largely funded by Marshall, Bloomberg, the state and City Council.
The museum will host a month-long celebratory event lineup starting November 9.
“With today’s ribbon cutting, the Queens Museum, with such an important part and place in our city’s history, is ready to embark on an exciting, new future,” Bloomberg said.