Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Preservation   /   Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania    map
Status: Plan

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts building was constructed in 1876 and is the first structure in the United States specifically designed for fine art instruction and exhibition in a consolidated facility. Designed by renowned Philadelphia architects Frank Furness and George Hewitt, the building is considered one the finest examples of late Victorian architecture and represents a prelude to the emerging industrial and modern design movements. One of the only remaining structures by Furness, the building has been maintained and stabilized and has not been altered from the original function or architectural condition.

Westlake Reed Leskosky prepared a master plan for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts including the Furness landmark building and the adjacent Samuel Hamilton Building. The master plan includes recommendations for space assignment in each building, relocation options for the permanent collections and archives, a preservation plan for the landmark building, modernization of infrastructure and environmental systems for the landmark building, and several land acquisition options related to student housing development and supplemental parking facilities. The project implementation will involve sequential phases of construction to ensure continuous operation for the academy and museum.

Phase 1 of the master plan implementation includes several interior renovation projects in the Hamilton Building, including a new 250 seat auditorium, a new Center for the Study of the American Artist, state of the art Works on Paper Conservation Lab and archives, new staff areas, new exhibition spaces, a new café, and new exterior street level glazing and interior studio spaces. Also included in Phase 1 are several infrastructure replacement projects in the Historic Landmark Building. Phase 1 is planned to be implemented over a four year period. Phase 2 of the master plan includes the full renovation of the Historic Landmark Building, including improvements to interior spaces, interior finish conservation, removal of non-historic interior construction, life safety and ADA compliance improvements, and renovation of other building infrastructure systems.