Leaders of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park Board broke ground Tuesday on a renovation and expansion of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
The $10 million project will add 5 acres while improving access and drainage. Walker Executive Director Olga Viso said the project will build on the legacy of the original garden, which opened in 1988.
"We really are creating the garden for the next generation of visitors," Viso said at the ceremonial event. "Nine million visitors have visited the garden since it opened, and we are excited to set the stage for the next 25, 30 years of the garden."
The Walker will add $15 million worth of new sculpture to the garden, which will officially reopen in June 2017. Some pieces will be unveiled this fall.
Park Board Commissioner Anita Tabb was one of several speakers to honor the legacy of former Walker Director Martin Friedman, who spearheaded the creation of the garden in the 1980s. Tabb said Friedman, who died Monday at 90, changed the public idea of how people could use parks.
"You know, not everyone recreates by playing sports," she said. "There are other ways to recreate, and the park board recognized that with the help of Martin Friedman. So great kudos to him for the vision that happened here."
The garden is being fenced off while the work is underway.
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