MFAH Moves Forward with Expansion Plans

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston has plans to add a new building and parking garage to its museum district campus. The museum has requested design proposals from three international architecture firms for a site that would add another 200-thousand square feet to its footprint. Laurie Johnson reports.

The new building would sit across the street from the MFAH's Caroline Weiss Law building at Bissonnet and Main. Modern and Contemporary Art Curator Cindi Strauss says the plan to expand has been in the works for about a decade.

"The museum's collection number approximately 63,000 objects and more than half of those objects were made after 1900. So a building dedicated to these expanding collections is absolutely unquestioned."

The new facility will include galleries, a library, lecture halls and a restaurant. There are also plans to turn what is currently a surface parking lot into a parking garage to accommodate more visitors. Strauss says the museum has already raised the money for the land.

"Right now we're focused on working on these three firms who are on our short list and to see their conceptual designs for this new facility, as well as the garage and integration of our campus and the surrounding public spaces. And once we choose an architect and we have a design in hand, then that will allow us to take the next step with a public fundraising campaign."

Strauss says the new facility will allow the museum to continue expanding its collection.

"It's a really exciting moment for the museum and for Houston to have three internationally renowned architectural firms thinking about our expansion project. And it will be really exciting to see what they come up with."

The firms will submit their design proposals early next year.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...