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Gilcrease Museum construction aims to finish in November

Posted at 5:20 PM, Apr 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-05 18:20:11-04

TULSA, Okla. — Construction of the new Gilcrease Museum building is more than 70% complete.

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said the museum will be more than just a place to store art, but an experience.

The museum's hilltop location was intentionally kept in place, despite some people wanting to move it to another location.

"The architects intentionally designed this so you have a panoramic view of Tulsa, the Osage Hills to the west, downtown Tulsa to the east and it's absolutely stunning," Bynum said.

Mayor Bynum also said the new building will showcase an art collection worth over $3 billion, whereas the old one only displayed 2% of it.

"That was the whole motivation for this new space, to be able to share more of the wealth of this exceptional collection," said Brian Lee Whisenhunt, Executive Director of Gilcrease Museum.

The $139 million package is funded by voter-approved initiatives and private donors.

The building will feature amenities like a floating staircase, skylight, cafe and outdoor amphitheater.

The museum will also be the first in the state to host major traveling exhibits.

Whisenhunt said it's all about strengthening ties with the community.

"With the reopening of the museum, really strengthening the connection that the museum already has with the Tulsa communities and just building on that and creating programming, exhibitions, schedules, events, activities, expanding how we're using and thinking about the grounds," he said.

Crews say construction is aimed to be completed in November, with a grand reopening planned for 2026.

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