Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


Address :   1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, NYC

Telephone: (212) 423-3500



Admission and Museum Hours
Admission is $12 for adults and $7 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the museum or in advance through The museum is open Sunday to Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The museum is closed on Thursday.




Frank Gehry-Designed Project Would Create Dramatic Architectural Landmark for New York

Thomas Krens, Director, and Peter B. Lewis, Chairman, of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, today presided at the opening of an exhibition of preliminary designs for a major new Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The architectural plans for a new Guggenheim Museum has been designed by Frank Gehry, who won worldwide acclaim for his design of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.

"Project for a New Guggenheim Museum in New York City," which includes models, plans, and building program documentation, opens to the public on April 19 and will be on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street), for an extended period of time.

"In its sixty-three years of existence, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has built one of the premiere collections of twentieth-century art in the world," stated Krens. "Despite the 1992 renovation of its landmark Frank Lloyd Wright building on Fifth Avenue and the opening of an addition designed by Charles Gwathmey, the museum does not have adequate space in New York to show major portions of its collection, and it has very little space suitable for contemporary art, which tends to be installation-based, engages new electronic media, and is defined by a radical increase in scale."

The fundamental rationale for the building project centers on the permanent collection and making extraordinary works of art available to a wider audience. A new Guggenheim Museum would take the pressure off the Wright building on Fifth Avenue. More of the prewar permanent collection would be continuously on view in the original museum's 50,000 square feet of gallery space, and the exhibition and education programs there would focus on art from the Impressionist period through the first half of the twentieth century.

The new Guggenheim Museum would have more than 200,000 square feet for exhibitions, with 75,000 square feet for the postwar permanent collection, and another 60,000 square feet for architecture, design, and multimedia art. "This space will allow the institution to grow into new areas and attract important private collections," said Krens. "These steps would not only support the long-term viability of the Guggenheim, but would provide an inestimable benefit to all residents of and visitors to New York."

Funding for this exhibition and the design development for the new Guggenheim Museum New York has been provided by: Peter B. Lewis; Jack and Susy Wadsworth; and The W.L.S. Spencer Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Fujitsu.

The plans and models presented in the exhibition were developed in connection with the Guggenheim's response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) for the development of Piers 9, 13, and 14 on the East River in Lower Manhattan. To date, no decision has been taken on the disposition of the piers. The Guggenheim remains hopeful that the proposal will ultimately be accepted. However, the Guggenheim remains open to exploring other appropriate locations for the museum and to working with the City to find the best possible site for the project. In that case, the design concepts articulated in the present plans could be adapted to another appropriate waterfront location.

Project Objectives
Since 1988, the development and expansion of the Guggenheim has been focussed in three areas: strengthening the museum's collections; developing the museum's international presence; and building an extraordinary and extensive exhibition and educational program. In so doing, the Guggenheim has dramatically expanded its reach. In 1988, the Guggenheim's combined attendance at its locations in New York and Venice was under 600,000. In 1998, the Guggenheim's worldwide attendance at its five locations—the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Guggenheim Museum SoHo in New York; Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin—reached nearly three million, reflecting the institution's unique international presence. By creating a new museum with the capacity for more extensive temporary exhibition and permanent collection programming, the Guggenheim will better be able to carry out its mission in the twenty-first century. This mission includes continuing to build its collections; extending its programming; expanding its audience; and establishing a strong and stable institution for the future.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation's objectives in undertaking this project are:
—to fulfill and enhance the mission of the museum by providing additional facilities in which to exhibit, preserve, and interpret its collections;
—to develop and display special exhibitions of international scope and superb quality, and to provide outstanding cultural experiences for a wider audience;
—to design and construct for New York City a building of extraordinary architectural and historical significance, one that is consistent with New York's status as the cultural capital of the world; and,
—to create a public resource that will benefit the community in which it is located, and, in particular, to respond to the community's desire for open space by providing expansive public park areas, including park land, outdoor sculpture gardens, fountains, and a promenade.

Economic Impact
In early 1999, the Guggenheim Foundation completed a preliminary analysis of the impact the new Guggenheim Museum could have on the economy of New York City. It was assisted in this effort by McKinsey & Company, a leading international management consulting firm that has conducted previous studies on the impact of the arts in New York. The analysis was submitted as part of the Guggenheim's response to the EDC's Request for Proposals relating to Piers 9, 13, and 14 in Lower Manhattan.

Given the architectural presence of the building design, the scope and quality of the program, and certain assumptions, including a Lower Manhattan location, the economic analysis projected that increased tourism, new commercial activity in the area, and museum-related spending could fall within the following range:

Annual Museum Attendance: 2.5-3.5 million visitors
Permanent Jobs Created: 4,300-5,000 to 5,700-6,700
Annual Economic Impact: $570-710 million
Annual Increase in New York City and New York State Tax Revenues: $50-70 million

In selecting Frank Gehry to design the proposed museum, the Guggenheim has chosen an architect with whom it has had an enormously successful relationship. Gehry's design for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao was universally praised by critics: Herbert Muschamp, chief architecture critic of The New York Times, called it "a miracle," and Ada Louise Huxtable, esteemed critic and architecture correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, called it "one of the most significant, as well as the most beautiful, museums in the world."

Frank Gehry has won practically every award bestowed in the architectural profession, including the Pritzker Prize, the Praemium Imperiale Award, the AIA Gold Medal, and the National Medal of the Arts. He has received a number of important recent commissions in major cities in the United States, including the Millennium Park Music Pavilion in Chicago, an addition to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Perhaps surprisingly, he has not yet designed a major building for the New York metropolitan area.

Hallmarks of Frank Gehry's work include a particular concern that people exist comfortably within the spaces he creates, and an insistence that his buildings address the context and culture of their sites. This aspect of Gehry's work makes him a particularly appropriate choice for a large-scale structure located on the waterfront in Lower Manhattan, where the context of the surrounding skyscrapers, the constraints of the river site, and the needs of the community create a unique and challenging environment.

General Description
As designed, the new museum building would occupy a total of approximately 520,000 square feet, augmented by significant public park and outdoor sculpture areas. The entire museum would be built on connecting platforms resting on piers at water level. In order to preserve the openness of the platform, and to create a sense of space, light, and views from South Street through to the East River, the overwhelming majority of the museum building would be raised above the platforms. This design creates both a view corridor of the waterfront below the level of the FDR Drive, as well as a public waterfront promenade, sculpture garden, fountain, and an expansive public park on the platform, with access to the water for ferry service and possible other boating activities.

As presently conceived, the new Guggenheim Museum would create a dramatic architectural landmark on the waterfront in Lower Manhattan, providing an important cultural anchor for the community. Perhaps most importantly, the project would represent a substantial investment in the life and resources of New York City, reinforcing the status of the city as the world's foremost cultural center.

View of model for proposed new Guggenheim Museum
in New York City.

Architect: Frank 0. Gehry

© Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Photo by David Heald