220 Jewett Blvd, PO Box 218, White Salmon, WA 98672 | 509.493.2112
Maryhill Museum sees attendance increase with new wing opening
Up 30 percent over last year
December 04, 2012
As Maryhill Museum of Art closed its doors for the season on Nov. 15, museum officials announced that attendance increased nearly 30 percent over the prior year, with 45,000 visitors crossing the threshold.
Visitation was buoyed by the opening of the new Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing, a $9.5 million, 25,500 square foot expansion that was the first in the museum's history and the largest cultural capital project in the Columbia River Gorge in 15 years. The wing was dedicated May 13, 2012, opening to rave reviews from visitors and the media.
"We've had so much positive feedback on the new wing, from the beauty of its design and construction details to our green approach and the way it seamlessly fits with the original museum building and surrounding landscape," said executive director Colleen Schafroth. "It really has exceeded our expectations."
The contemporary building, with its cantilevered terrace and sweeping views of the Gorge, was designed by GBD Architects of Portland, and houses an education suite, collections storage, and an outdoor plaza with expansive views and large-scale sculptures. Among the improved visitor amenities is a new, roomy cafe, which also saw increased traffic.
"With the influx of visitors, our cafe experienced a 30 percent increase in revenue -- funds that go directly to support exhibits and programs," said Schafroth.
In addition to attracting larger audiences, the Stevenson Wing has received several industry awards and accolades, including Best Cultural Project in the Northwest from the Engineering News Record. The project will be put forward for national contention in December.
In the coming months, the museum expects the new wing to receive a Gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.