Groundbreaking on a new downtown home for the Whitney Museum of American Art will take place 24th May 2011, museum officials said Monday. Speaking at a community board meeting not far from the site, the Whitney’s Director, Adam D. Weinberg said the museum expects to close on the city-owned site in ‘the early part’ of next year and begin demolition of the area in February.
The downtown project is expected to cost $680m, of which 70% has been raised Mr. Weinberg said Monday. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the new Whitney will be located in New York’s Meatpacking District adjacent to the High Line Park. While earlier plans indicated that the museum would directly engage the High Line, it will no longer do so due to security concerns and in the interest of keeping visitors from entering the building midway through the exhibition space.
The building is slated to open in 2015. In the short film below, Mr. Weinberg takes the public on a virtual tour of the Museum's concept design.