Changes afoot for iconic steps at
Philadelphia Museum of Art
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[June 26, 2014]
By Daniel Kelley
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The
Philadelphia Museum of Art, on the verge of unveiling details of a
major expansion, is considering changes to the steps made famous in
the 1976 "Rocky" movie, the museum director said on Wednesday.
The plans, which are not final, call for a 24-foot window in
the center of the staircase at the neoclassical building, said
Timothy Rub, the museum's director and chief executive officer.
The window would connect to underground galleries to be designed
by renowned architect Frank Gehry. From inside, visitors would
get a view of the Philadelphia skyline.
“It's what we call an option for consideration,” Rub said.
The broad stairs gained worldwide fame from "Rocky," in which
actor Sylvester Stallone climbed them as he trained for a
potentially life-changing boxing bout.
The 72 steps rank among the most popular tourist attractions in
Philadelphia, and visitors can often be seen re-enacting the
scene, their arms raised in triumph.
Rub said changing the steps ranks among the most significant
changes to the exterior of the museum, which was completed in
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Much of the expansion, which could take more than a decade, involves
changes to interior spaces and excavation of portions of the hill
where the museum stands to create underground galleries, he said.
The plans could add as much as 169,000 square feet of new space and
allow the museum to show off more of its collection of 230,000
objects, officials say.
Gehry is known for dramatic, modernist designs, including the
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.
The plans are set to be unveiled publicly on July 1.
(Reporting by Daniel Kelley; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jim
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