Philadelphia Museum of Art to unveil $200M completed renovation, 'Pay What You Wish' weekend

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia Museum of Art will unveil its $200 million renovation by famed architect Frank Gehry on Friday.

The Museum is celebrating with 'Pay What You Wish' admission from Friday through Monday.

You don't see a lot of changes on the outside of the museum - but the inside is a different story.

This is the result of many years of planning and four years of construction.

Gehry said the original building had a lot to offer.

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"You know that building is such an icon in Philadelphia, it would be outrageous to try to remodel the exterior," Gehry remarked.

But, he added, that the interior appeared clogged, so the goal was to restore space.

This completed phase of the project at the heart of the museum is referred to as the 'Core Project.'

Museum Director and CEO Timothy Rub said that the work encompasses more than 140,000 square feet on three levels of the building, including 90,000 square feet of newly created public space and more than 20,000 square feet of new gallery space.

Much of the building's aging infrastructure was replaced.

Rub stated that this design respects the character of the building while offering a vision of the future.

"You can see one of the most dramatic elements of Frank's design for the Core Project is a magnificent new staircase, which will take visitors from the ground level up to the first floor," Rub pointed out in a video highlighting the renovations.

The museum will take a break before it goes on to its next phase of construction, which includes high ceiling galleries under the East Terrace and the possibility of a window carved into the 'Rocky Steps.'

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