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May 29, 2013

Cape Ann Museum eyes $5M in upgrades

CAM eyes $5M drive for 5-month project

The historic Cape Ann Museum, through a $5 million capital campaign, is about to embark on a 21st-century renovation project to bring its building up to the first-class standard of its collection.

In addition to housing the world’s largest collection of paintings and drawings by native son Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865), the museum boasts a top-shelf maritime and granite quarrying collection as well as a diverse collection of fine art.

The public is invited to the board’s annual meeting Thursday, after which the plans will be unveiled along with details of the museum’s capital drive. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by the business meeting, with the renovation plans to be discussed after that.

The footprint of the 44,000-square-foot museum located in the heart of the downtown will not change, although inside a major interior redesign will take place in addition to a less glamorous updating of HVAC systems. The firm designLAB was chosen to oversee the design and construction of the project; the architect is Robert Miklos.

The museum will close its doors in October to store its collection and prepare for the roughly five-month construction project that will begin in November. Museum officials hope to reopen its doors in the late spring or early summer of 2014.

Cape Ann Museum President John Cunningham will announce the public launch of the $5 million capital campaign with the moniker “Reaching Out and Strengthening Within,” while J.J. Bell, chair of the building committee, and Ronda Faloon, the museum director, will talk about the renovations plans tomorrow in the Folly Cove auditorium.

The campaign is the latest step in the ongoing transformation of a cultural anchor, one that contributes significantly to the region’s cultural vitality, according to the board. The collections embody the art, history and culture of Cape Ann.

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