AUSTIN, Texas—After having considered other alternatives for location of the new Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin has announced a decision to build on a site near the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Speedway.
This is the site originally considered for the new museum several years ago, but other sites also came under consideration in recent months after a disagreement over design of the facility led to the resignation of architects commissioned to design the museum.
The museum has been scheduled to open in late 2002 and eventually will encompass approximately 150,000 square feet. It will enable the Blanton to exhibit a significant portion of its permanent collection, including the Suida-Manning Collection, featuring 700 works of European art from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
John L. Rishling, associate vice president for campus planning, said the other potential sites that had been considered included a location in the Thompson Conference Center area near Dean Keeton Avenue and Red River Street, the present site of Parking Lot 11 north of Gregory Gymnasium and the present site of the Simkins Hall dormitory near the Texas Memorial Museum. He said these potential sites for the museum had been identified, and subsequently included, as a result of planning studies.
“Subsequent to the 1966 adoption of the Campus Master Plan, authored by Cesar Pelli & Associates, New Haven, Conn., the Pelli firm and other professionals were invited to the campus to provide focused planning studies.
“On February 17, 2000, Mr. William Butler, senior principal of the Pelli firm, conducted a planning session to address the location for the Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, taking into consideration: campus master planning principals, vehicle circulation, parking and utility issues identified during earlier Blanton studies; and, other capital project needs currently under consideration.”
Rishling said the Pelli briefing identified advantages to the MLK & Speedway site including proximity to the Texas State Historical Museum, proximity to the core campus, its serving as a gateway to the campus on axis with the Texas State Capitol, the availability of campus utilities and the adjacency of a 1,555-car parking garage.
“Their conclusion was that the teaching mission of Blanton museum requires a central location on the campus. They felt the MLK & Speedway site is the overall preferred site,” said Rishling.
For additional information, contact Rishling at (512) 475-6976.