Harlem Studio Museum to see $122M makeover

A rendering of what the new museum would look like.
A rendering of what the new museum would look like.

The Harlem Studio Museum is getting a makeover. Or rather, it’s getting completely demolished and re-built for $122 million (if they can get the money).

The Wall Street Journal reports that the historic museum, which has about 2,000 pieces from major artists of African descent like Kara Walker, Chris Ofili and Jacob Lawrence, has outgrown its current space on 125th street and is hoping to erect a 71,000 square foot building in its place. For the design, the museum hired the firm Adjaye Associates, which designed the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and the Sugar Hill mixed-use development in West Harlem. Expect a 199-seat “inverted stoop” and giant spaces to accommodate huge artworks.

At the moment, the museum only has $5 million in its endowment, so it isn’t immediately clear how or when this ambitious project is going to happen since they seem pretty far away from $122 million. Then again, never underestimate the power of rich people in Manhattan.

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