The Dallas Museum of Art announced today the receipt of a $3 million grant from the Eagle Family to fund the renovation of the museum’s north entrance, which faces Klyde Warren Park.
Paired with an additional $1.3 million from the Hamon Charitable Foundation, the plans will transform the area outside of the museum’s Atrium Cafe into a plaza with outdoor seating for the restaurant. In addition, the driveways allowing access to the museum’s underground parking garage will be reconfigured, making room for wider sidewalks and new landscaping that are intended to create improved pedestrian access and flow between the park and the front of the DMA. Henry Moore’s Two Piece Reclining Figure, No. 3 , which has been sitting in small traffic roundabout for years, will be mercifully relocated to the sculpture garden, though Miguel Covarrubias’ mosaic, Genesis, The Gift of Life, will remain in place. Construction begins in August.
It’s certainly looks like an improvement over what’s there today, though not as much of an improvement as completely eliminating the driveway could have been. Still, that’s likely an unrealistic solution, not only because of the logistics of the parking garage layout, but also because that garage must now be quite the cash cow thanks to the thousands of people flocking to Klyde Warren Park.
Here’s the full release:
Eagle Family Pledges $3 Million to the Dallas Museum of Art
For Renovation of the North Entrance, to Be Renamed Eagle Family Plaza
–Hamon Charitable Foundation Provides Additional $1.3 Million of Support–
Dallas, TX, May 26, 2015 – Dallas Museum of Art benefactors Jennifer and John Eagle have donated $3 million to the DMA for the renovation of the Museum’s North Entrance to improve the overall visitor experience. The Hamon Charitable Foundation has given an additional gift of $1.3 million for the project, for a total contribution of $4.3 million. The North Entrance, to be renamed Eagle Family Plaza, will be designed by Dallas-based landscape architectural firms Studio Outside and Hocker Design Group, with a new freestanding food service building and interior renovations to the DMA’s cafe designed by local architectural firm Morrison Dilworth + Walls. Construction will begin in August 2015 with a proposed opening in spring 2016.
In 1993, the DMA opened the Nancy and Jake L. Hamon Building, supported by a remarkable contribution from one of Dallas’s most dedicated and prominent philanthropists, Nancy Hamon, in honor of her husband, legendary Dallas oilman and civic leader Jake Hamon. Accessed by the North Entrance, the Hamon wing has become the heart of the visitor experience at the DMA. With the opening of Klyde Warren Park in 2012, coupled with the DMA’s return to free general admission in 2013, there has been a significant increase in pedestrian traffic. The modification of the North Entrance, situated between North St. Paul and Harwood streets, and facing the Park, will increase accessibility and enhance safety, contributing to an improved visitor experience. The redesign of the 20-year-old entrance includes improved vehicular circulation, enhanced pedestrian access, interior food service refurbishments and a new outdoor dining venue.
In addition, the DMA’s renovation plans include the creation of an outdoor exhibition space at the North Entrance. The first commissioned work for it will be a sculpture by British artist Rebecca Warren. The site-specific work of art, created in the United Kingdom, will be Warren’s first major commission by a U.S. museum and will serve as the first in a series of rotating works by various artists highlighted in the new north lawn of the Museum. Warren was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006 and was elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Art in 2014.
“We deeply appreciate the extraordinary generosity of Jennifer and John Eagle and the Hamon Charitable Foundation in funding the renovation of the DMA’s North Entrance,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “These gifts ensure that our face to Klyde Warren Park will become more inviting not only for its guests and ours, but also for all those on foot in the Dallas Arts District.”
“I am delighted to make this gift in honor of my husband, John, following his six years of service as President of the Board of Trustees, and to continue our support of the Dallas Museum of Art,
said Jennifer Eagle. “We are thrilled to be part of this new, welcoming addition that will certainly enhance the visitor experience.”
The expanded Eagle Family Plaza design will fully open the DMA Cafe to the exterior. Perimeter plantings along the northeast side of the building will be replaced by a steel pavilion and wooden decking to expand seating and dining options, including the addition of an outdoor food pavilion serving as an extension of the cafe. The circular drive from Harwood Street will be replaced by a new driveway directly into the Museum garage and an expansive new lawn area to provide opportunities for outdoor programming. A new plaza for strolling and lounging will extend due north toward the Park, and a widened sidewalk bordered by refreshed landscaping will run east to west alongside Woodall Rodgers Freeway, providing safe walkability between the Museum and the Park. The Genesis, The Gift of Life mosaic by Miguel Covarrubias will remain in place. The Henry Moore sculpture Two Piece Reclining Figure, No. 3 will be relocated to the Museum’s Sculpture Garden at the south end of the building.
The Atrium and its interior will undergo a renovation as well. A lounge area greeting visitors upon their arrival will be added to the entrance of the Atrium, located off of the DMA’s main entrance at Eagle Family Plaza. A passageway will be created from the new cafe entry doors continuing through to the Museum’s Fleischner Courtyard. The passageway will incorporate a new DMA Cafe food service location as well as an additional entrance to the DMA’s Museum Store.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 23,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than two million visitors, and enrolled more than 100,000 people in DMA Friends, the nation’s first free museum membership program. For more information, visit DMA.org.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the