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Cooper Robertson selected to design master plan for Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

Museums

Cooper Robertson selected to design master plan for Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

The project will seek public input regarding the campus master plan.


By David Malone, Managing Editor | January 25, 2022
Munson-WIlliams-Proctor Art Institute
Image courtesy Munson-Williams

Cooper Robertson will design an extensive campus master plan to transform the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, transforming public areas into vibrant community cultural and entertainment spaces, increasing accessibility, and serving as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization.

Munson-Williams occupies 10 acres within residential city blocks and acts as the gateway to downtown Utica. Highlights of the master plan include:

· Enhancing the Munson-Williams campus role as a neighborhood anchor and community focus while making the campus more welcoming and visitor-friendly;

· Exploring classroom/studio utilization so that the School of Art will continue to attract top students to the PrattMWP College of Art and Design while balancing the needs of the Community Arts Education programs;

· Evaluating existing land use and developing a conceptual framework plan for vehicular and pedestrian flows, and identifying opportunities for improved green spaces; 

· Categorizing and prioritizing capital improvements to establish a long-term strategy for future investment;

· Identifying potential improvements to facilities beyond what Munson-Williams has already documented; and target future space needs.

The project will also include the construction of the Munson-Williams Park. This park will take underutilized land on the front grounds of Munson-WIlliams and create a 49,000-sf public access space stretching from the front of the 324 Genesee Street to Cottage Place. The park will feature new landscaping, lighting, sculptures, and it will utilize the Museum of Art’s staircase as amphitheater seating for events. It will be anchored by the 19th-century Fountain Elms building and the Philip Johnson-designed Museum of Art, which are both free and open to the public. The park will renovate the Oneida Square neighborhood and create a gateway to downtown Utica. The park will be activated with new programming including festivals, block parties, light shows, art demonstrations and installations, pop-up events, and free public performances.

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