Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Arts center plans construction party

        If the Contemporary Arts Center has its way, Cincinnati will be dancing in the streets at noon May 24.

        That's the official groundbreaking for the CAC's Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, its 85,000-square-foot new home at Sixth and Walnut streets downtown.

        Designed by London-based architect Zaha Hadid, the $29 million, six-story structure will include 17,000 square feet of exhibit space, almost double what the CAC has now; a sixth-floor education center called the UnMuseum, lower-level performance space, gift shop and lobby. Ms. Hadid hopes it will remind passers-by of an indoor park.

        It is the CAC's first free-standing home since its 1939 founding and the first American museum designed by a woman.

        Ms. Hadid will be in town to join groundbreaking festivities.

        The groundbreaking is also a noon to 1 p.m. street party. Cincinnati will close Walnut Street between Sixth and Seventh and erect a stage on the site of the new center.

        It's also expected that the CAC will announce it has reached its $34.1 million fund-raising goal that day.

        The CAC is estimating a spring 2003 opening date.


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