Fans and friends of the Maryhill Museum, as well as board members, officially broke ground February 18th for a multi-million dollar expansion. On a blustery, cold Friday afternoon, Museum Board President Jim Foster greeted everyone and announced they were at 97% of their $10 million-dollar goal to build a 25,000-square-foot addition to the museum, the first since the original building was dedicated in 1926.
The addition will be used as an education and study center with research rooms and a library. Plus the cafe, now located in the basement of the museum, will be moved as well, giving patrons a view of the Gorge and freeing up some space in the museum for more exhibits.
Assisting Foster with the first shovelful of dirt at the groundbreaking was Laura Chaney, daughter of longtime board member and supporter Mary Stevenson. The new center will be named the Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing. Chaney called it a "wow" day for her to see the start of the project her parents had championed for more than 15 years.
The new addition will be located 90% underground, off the south end of the museum, so it won't disturb the beauty of the view from across the river. At the same time, it will feature an outdoor plaza, an interpretive art center so patrons can take advantage of the spectacular view up and down the gorge.
Construction is expected to take a year to 18 months.
For more information about the museum and the expansion, be sure to visit the Maryhill Museum website.