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Our Renovation and Expansion Update Blog

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Nov. 27, 2013

To Describe What's Going On: Zoom Zoom

To illustrate the fast pace of work around here, today's post features a photo effect known as a zoom pan. It's the use of a slow enough shutter speed to capture the change of the focal length of the lens. For those who want to try it at home, the trick is to hold the camera super-steady while shortening or widening the lens while snapping. Shown above is the installation of ceiling soffits in a new addition. Shown below is work in the modern and contemporary galleries, and more images are available after the jump.

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As we race toward a big construction deadline, there's drywall finishing in our non-Western galleries, new ductwork that will protect modern art and new ductwork to protect European painting and sculpture. There's framing work outside the new elevator and shown below, we're approaching the final finishing touches on the exterior limestone cladding.

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Nov. 25, 2013

Look Up to Find the Action

On a chilly Monday, most everywhere you went there was something going on with the ceilings, including the situation shown at right, where an electrician disappeared while tracking a circuit. You could also find electricians working the hallways that line Huber Court. (Editors note: The boxes full of frames shown in that picture are not works of art.)

Up on the second floor, work began on the new ceiling in the Large Oval Gallery, and because of a slow shutter speed, you can't see the hammer punching out the hole. Also on the second floor, work continued on the ceiling soffits in our new addition.

As a final note, we're going to miss the ornamental steelworkers when they are finished. Find where they are working, and usually you'll find sparks flying.

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Nov. 22, 2013

Pressure and Progress on a Thank You Friday

As is our tradition on Fridays, we like to thank all the men and women working so hard on our behalf. Progress was visible in both big and small ways this week, and shown above, that's two more things to check off the exterior do-list. Shown below is ceiling preparations for a gallery in one of our new additions. Here's to the crew having a nice weekend, and here's to another great week come Monday.

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Nov. 21, 2013

With So Much Going On, a Simple Photo Roundup

Considering pressing deadlines, the interior focus nowadays is on the downstairs renovations, but as shown above and as seen here, it seems like there are electricians everywhere. They have a big job matching old and new circuits and there are miles of wires in this building.

Elsewhere, there's work from the first floor cafe to the new air handling units just under the roofline. When it came to an adjusted route for an air duct, the first thing was chipping out the concrete. The second thing was cutting out the rebar. And shown below, the block may be going up inside, but considering the dust, the cuts are made outside.

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Nov. 18, 2013

A Milestone With an Asterisk

Shown above, a behind-the-scenes view of the installation of the first piece of artwork that will be on permanent display when we reopen. We call it a milestone with an asterisk because the installation is just started, not completed, but for all those who are looking forward to our reopening, we thought it important to report that we've taken the first step in what will be a long process. Elsewhere around the building, there's still plenty of construction going on, including, as shown below, work on new stairwell railings.

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Nov. 15, 2013

We Called it the Mousehole

Shown above, the door under Huber Court's grand staircase is now closed. Part of it is to create a better gallery presentation on the other side, and part of it involves our overall goal of improving traffic flow. Thanks to this change—and thanks to moving our elevator, painful though it's been—you'll enjoy long, easy-to-navigate corridors when we reopen. It used to be easy to get all turned around, and we had a goal to fix that.

Shown below, that emptied bucket comes from cleaning up the front yard, which is a good sign that exterior construction is drawing to a close. Overall, there's a lot still to be done, as this picture shows, but a lot of people are racing to meet tight deadlines, and we really appreciate their efforts.

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Nov. 14, 2013

Sometimes, Things Just Come Together

Shown above, work continued Thursday in what will be our new cafe. It's pretty dark in there right now, as everything is being handled by temporary work lights, so when we got a combination of quality lighting and a terrific smile, there was only one thing to do. Post it as soon as possible.

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Nov. 13, 2013

"Black and White Can Have So Much Emotion," the Electrician Said

Stereotypes are generally dangerous and usually wrong. When it comes to our stereotypical construction workers, we'd like to point out we recently overheard a hardhat conversation where Monet was preferred over Manet. Our crew includes musicians, artists, people who studied to be engineers, all kinds of aspiring this and thats—and an electrician trained in black and white photography. He suggested more black and white pictures in our blog because of their texture and emotion. We just had to agree.

So in going around the building on this special grayscale post, case installation in our new glass wing is moving at a brisk clip, masonry work is being performed for our new accessibility lift, electricians are pulling armored cable and installing conduit pipes seemingly everywhere, and drywall finishers continue to leave a flatness bordering on perfection. And shown below, a manager on the edge of Huber Court double checks the drawings. In the tent in the background are two statues from antiquity, their restoration nearly complete. There is a lot to do and a lot of deadline pressure, but we're getting there.

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Nov. 12, 2013

Finishing Goes Fast Once the Mechanical Work is Ready

Shown above, we'd been wondering when we'd see drywall tapers on stilts. Still to come is work on some really high ceilings—up to 15 feet, in fact—and we'll have pictures as it happens. Generally around here, as soon as mechanical work is done behind the walls, the drywall goes up, the mud flies, and then painters move in. The only sadness as the primer rolls is that little artworks such as this are lost to history.

Shown below is the type of picture soon to be no more. The limestone crew has completed 90-plus percent of the exterior, and is pretty much down to building a garden wall, cladding a finish on a new loading dock—and erecting what might wind up as the fanciest enclosure ever designed to do nothing more than hide garbage cans. The Stihl block saws, such as shown below, have made short work of block and limestone and made for good pictures. Stihl has long been a supporter of this Museum, and this lets us thank them twice.

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Nov. 8, 2013

As the Picture Shows, This is About What's Behind the Seen

We normally pick our Friday pictures as a way to thank all the people who have been working really hard. Since we're racing toward closing our first construction area so we can start reinstalling the art, of course we thank the crew, but today's pictures are a bit more task-focused. Late next week the new glass wing will be finished, and that's where you can find people working on the top, in the middle, and on the bottom. Reinstalling art will be a significant milestone, and we're quite excited about it.

Elsewhere around the project, the crew installing the limestone trim outside had a couple days of good weather and good progress, as shown here, but then the weather turned and the mud returned. Inside, you just can't imagine how fast the drywall hangers work, though the trim pile provides a clue. And our new cafe, which will feature a really robust catering kitchen, has such a muscular exhaust system, we had to install a big fresh air intake outdoors.

Shown at top, a new hallway door being framed in an office hallway just a few feet away from the director's door. The poster is from a previous Chrysler exhibition.

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Nov. 5, 2013

"Putting up the Walls is Always Faster Than What's Behind the Walls"

This week there are more people in the new glass wing than anywhere else, since that area is now the closest to completion. But there's work going on everywhere. The new ceiling framing is all in for the new Modern Art gallery, mechanical work continues in what will be our new cafe, and it's always fun watching people disappear on the job.

All told, the crew seems to be in a good mood and it's always a good thing when sparks are flying. Now if we could only find someone who could tell us the purpose of this old machine that's been stashed in a stairwell for ages.

Shown below, a welder puts the final touches on the steel holding the limestone trim on our new porches.

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Nov. 1, 2013

That Feeling in the Air is Called Progress

Quite a bustle behind our construction fences these days. The scheduled construction deadline is just two months away, which places a real premium on the coordination between trades and subcontractors. This is a project where there have been fits and starts, but once things get rolling, they really roll. Here's what's rolling now:

• We'll start with the quick snip shown above that made it possible to fit this duct in the space between two walls.

• Seems like there is sanding going on everywhere. As the floor sanding wraps up in the new glass gallery, the impact is immediate. And when it came to the floor crew, one member had a hard hat that was impossible to miss.

• Sometimes when putting drywall on a ceiling, it's nice to have a helper.

• Our new cafe is a bewildering mess of metal studs and pipes right now. Here's how it looks when a pipe is being cut and threaded.

• Outside, the front limestone trim going up on the porches will also act as a gutter, once they are all welded in and the roofers have followed with their waterproof membrane systems. The most difficult limestone work remaining will be on the new loading dock, where a fire hydrant was just moved to provide unobstructed access.

• And finally, shown below are lights you'll never see once the new glass wing reopens. They'll be covered by a diffusion screen. As always, click any image to enlarge.

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