Let it snow?

ICA sets new opening date

The delayed, highly anctipated grand opening of the new Institute of Contemporary Art has been rescheduled for December 10. The opening was originally scheduled for September 17, a date that was cancelled only weeks in advance due to construction delays. Melissa Kuronen, director of communications at the ICA, can’t point to one specific construction glitch: “the process itself is always much slower and much longer than you ever expect. Construction takes the amount of time it takes. We have a one-of-a-kind building, and we want to get it right.”

The new ICA is not only “the first art museum built in Boston in nearly 100 years,” but also a buzzed-about architectural milestone for the city and the first significant year-round cultural foray into the still-developing wild and windy waterfront along Northern Ave. “You walk through this space,” says Kuronen, “and you realize what the power of architecture can be. We work and visit buildings, and take the architecture for granted. It really does impact us as people.”

The announcement of the rescheduled opening coincided with the news that fundraising has gone remarkably smoothly for the construction. The museum announced that its capital campaign has reached $65 million, exceeding it’s original $62 million goal. (The building itself is $51 million.)

But the delays have meant the rescheduling (and in some cases relocation) of dance events presented by Cambridge’s World Music/CRASHarts in the new buildings 325-seat Lee Theater as well as the loss of income from visitors who, instead of being enticed during the temperate fall months, will now have to brave the waterfront during Christmas season.

 This is also the first building in the United States by the much lauded firm of the New York-based Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and it is as likely to draw as much attention for their unusual cantilevered design as for the building’s art contents. The grand opening celebration will include a free, 12-hour “community day” December 10 from 9 am to 9 pm. Pushing back the opening has been frustrating, Kuronen says, but it also allows them to more time to perfect the new elements of the museum. “It’s a much bigger operation,” she says. “Now we have more time to perfect all the things we’re working on.”

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Visual Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art, Cultural Institutions and Parks,  More more >
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