The future of the Albright-Knox and its AK360 plan got a big boost today from the City of Buffalo. Mayor Byron W. Brown announced that the City (backed by Common Council) would be dedicating $2.5 million towards the future Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum (Buffalo AKG Art Museum).
Mayor Brown stated, “The Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum is a major part of our City’s twenty- first-century renaissance and our thriving arts community, bringing world-class art and arts education to Buffalo for 156 years. Providing this support for the future public park and public infrastructure on the grounds of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum campus is both a privilege and a responsibility, and I thank Dr. Janne Sirén and members of the Albright-Knox Board for their enhanced commitment to diversity in the AK360 plan, and for sharing my commitment to ensure that the campus is an enriching haven for all people of Buffalo seeking inspiration, culture and social interaction. ”
The funding from The City, to be matched dollar for dollar by investor Jeffrey Gundlach, will be dedicated to enhancing the grounds of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Delaware Park, where the AKG is located. The funds will also be committed to public infrastructure required to fulfill the campus development, designed by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh. Van Valkenburgh has also taken the lead in re-envisioning LaSalle Park as the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park.
Janne Sirén, Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery said, “The AK360 Campus Development and Expansion project aspires to transform this museum into a more welcoming environment and social space for everyone to enjoy, and today we are honored by Mayor Brown’s commitment to these ideals. Our identity as an institution is continually reshaped by those who so generously support our efforts. We are profoundly grateful to Mayor Brown and the City of Buffalo for recognizing the significant potential this project holds for our area and its residents, and we are confident that the reinvigorated Buffalo Albright-Knox-Gundlach Art Museum will be a tremendous resource for all citizens.”
Alice Jacobs, Board President of the Albright-Knox, said, “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the museum, I would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Mayor Brown and the Buffalo Common Council for their deep commitment and partnership in this transformative project. Under Mayor Brown’s leadership, the City of Buffalo continues to flourish. The AK360 project will continue community’s revitalization as a wonderful place to live, work, and grow.”
Lead image: The landscape surrounding the Albright-Knox might someday look something like this, where the grounds will be more welcoming for people, and not cars. The park landscape will one day be one with the museum. The rendering is from the proposed concept design released in June 2017, which is being reworked, but will still focus on a campus-wide visitor experience that will pay homage to its host Olmsted Park.