The Bruce Museum filed plans on Thursday with the Town of Greenwich for a building expansion, including additional permanent exhibition and teaching spaces and a café.
The transformation is designed to accommodate a growing cultural demand on the 104-year-old institution and strengthen the role of the Museum as a cutting-edge cultural destination for the citizens of Greenwich and beyond.
“The Bruce Museum is critical to the shared history and future of the people of Greenwich. It is essential for us to engage with our audiences in new ways to successfully meet their expectations,” said Peter Sutton, the Susan E. Lynch Executive Director of the Bruce Museum.
The Museum has had a 20% increase in visitors over the past year and is exceeding capacity for all programming, including school group programs, education workshops, talks, and tours.
In addition, the Museum lacks adequate space to display its permanent collection of nearly 16,500 objects representing art and science, all of which belong to the citizens of Greenwich. The Museum’s last expansion was completed in 1992.
The new plans feature enhanced art and science workshops and classrooms, allowing the Museum to double the number of programs offered and reach twice as many children. “One goal is to make our educational experiences more memorable, inspiring, and engaging for visitors of all ages,” said Susan Ball, Bruce Museum Deputy Director. A new lecture hall will provide an updated space for visitors to engage with leaders in the fields of art and science. The expanded Bruce will have new galleries for its permanent collection of historic and contemporary art, natural history and science, and become a destination where visitors go to experience not only the world-class changing exhibitions, but also their “favorite works” permanently on view.
“The proposed expansion will allow the Bruce to better serve its community and become a stronger cultural magnet in the region,” said Andy Fox, project advisor to the Bruce Museum.
Involved in the plans are visitor amenities such as a café with indoor and outdoor seating, an expanded store, and reception hall to host private and public festivities.
The Museum will also feature easier access and a more inviting entrance for visitors. Other improvements include a dedicated entrance and orientation space for school groups so they can access the Museum safely and a transformation of the surrounding grounds.