Newark Museum reopening Washington Street doors as part of $5.5M project

After two decades closed, the Washington Street doors at the Newark Museum are once again open, as part of a project designed to address the flurry of recent development in the downtown area.

“We see all around us how the neighborhood is changing quickly to accommodate its renewed development and growth. With this move, the Newark Museum is poised to reaffirm its role as both a cultural and business anchor in the community,” CEO and Director Steven Kern said. “With the doors open, the museum will project neighborhood vitality, stability and security.”

The initiative is part of a larger $5.5 million project in collaboration with Michael Graves Architecture and Design. Newark Museum will also seek to enhance the exterior and include a public terrace for events, as well as make over 5,000 square feet of exhibition space.

The organization also aims to become more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act by installing a lift in Engelhard Court and a wheelchair ramp to the entrance.

“In 2015, the Museum launched a plan to reopen the main entrance in order to reconnect with the rapidly growing sidewalk life on Washington Street, from the growing populations from Rutgers and the new Hahne’s Building as well as corporations such as Prudential and Audible. As a result, the museum anticipates increased public engagement,” it said in a news release. “The new plaza will connect the museum to Washington Park and serve as a new public destination, attracting more visitors to the neighborhood with increased outdoor museum programming.”

Architect Michael Graves, who was personally involved with the museum since 1976, passed away in 2015.

Preparations for this project began in April, with the official groundbreaking on May 24. Financing of the project was made possible by a collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities, MCJ Amelior Foundation and the Sagner Family Foundation.

A rendering of improvements to…

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