Aug. 30, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
The Queens Museum, which is located at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, has entered the second and final phase of its nearly $70 million expansion.
The museum announced Friday that it has selected LEVENBETTS as its architect, and that the Manhattan-based firm will oversee the design of the second phase, which will include a children’s museum, classrooms and storage space for art. Construction could begin as soon as next year.
The plan represents the second half of the museum’s major expansion project. The museum completed the first phase in November 2013 — adding galleries, event spaces, educational areas, and visitor amenities. Approximately 50,000 square feet was added as part of the first phase.
The second phase of the expansion project, which will cost around $30 million to complete, will feature a children’s museum; additional classrooms/ workshop areas; a 5,500-square-foot intergenerational, multilingual family art lab; a 2,600-square-foot art storage vault; new offices; exhibition prep spaces; and a designated area for back-of-house operations.
The additional classrooms will allow the museum to accommodate more school trips and educational programming and the secure storage space will protect the museum’s 15,000 objects and accommodate more pieces.
Additionally, the project includes plans to upgrade the museum’s HVAC system to improve its energy conservation and cost savings.
Sally Tallant, the president and executive director of the museum, said that the project will enhance the services the facility offers.
“Art brings people together, and this expansion will enable the museum to grow and respond to the evolving needs of the many communities we serve,” Tallant said.
“The Children’s Museum will be the beating heart of the Queens Museum, bringing new energy and excitement to our programs.”
The Queens Museum selected LEVENBETTS as its architect saying that the company’s designs correspond with the museum’s mission of being grounded by local engagement and framed by a global mindset.
The project will add to LEVENBETTS’ growing list of design projects in Queens. The firm is currently working on an affordable senior housing project in Forest Hills and on design work for the Baisley Park Library in South Jamaica. LEVENBETTS is also working on design projects involving the renovation of several public libraries in Brooklyn.
Stella Betts, a partner at LEVENBETTS, said she was thrilled to be working with the Queens Museum on the final phase of its expansion project.
“Our commitment to architecture in the public realm aligns with the Museum’s mission of art, education, and outreach to local communities,” Betts said.
“We are excited to create an inclusive architectural space for art and public programs that engage critical issues and speak to the communities served by the museum.”
This project is being funded in part by the Mayor’s Office, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the City Council, and the Queens Borough President’s Office.