Art collector Rudy Ciccarello has signed a contract with Gilbane Construction to begin construction on the $70-million Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.
The MAACM, designed by Alfonso Architects, will serve as a repository for founder Ciccarello’s world-class art collection. The signing of the contract between the MAACM and Gilbane Construction marks the culmination of more than three years of intensive design collaboration between Ciccarello, of the Two Red Roses Foundation, and award-winning architect Alberto Alfonso.
“The engagement of Gilbane Construction is a very important development. But in many ways it is just the beginning of a two-year process,” Ciccarello said.
“There is much work yet to be done and challenges to overcome. But I am confident in the team that I have assembled and that, at the end of the day, the City of St. Petersburg will be proud of what has been accomplished.”
Alfonso said, “As an architect, opportunities like the MAACM are rare and truly come along once in a lifetime. So, it was with great pride and excitement that my firm was selected to design this major museum and cultural center to showcase a world-class collection of the decorative arts — the only one of its kind in America.”
Alfonso added, “We were given the challenge and freedom to create something truly unique, without caveats. Rudy supported and encouraged me in every way possible and was truly a leader and working partner in what has been an incredible collaboration.”
The museum, originally planned as a four-story, 90,000-square-foot building with a cost of $35 million, will instead occupy five floors, covering 137,000 square feet. The building is now estimated to cost $70 million, not including the $16 million cost of land acquisition, parking garage construction, and architectural and consulting fees.
The expansion in both square feet and budget was necessary to increase gallery and exhibition spaces, and to include a 100-seat auditorium, a resource library, children’s education center and gallery, and a graphic studio and darkroom facilities for teaching purposes.
Plans also include an upscale destination restaurant, museum café, retail store, and event spaces for weddings, corporate events, and private parties.
“I am excited for the next phase of the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement,” St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said.
“This museum represents years of effort and investment, and the City of St. Petersburg is ready to do what we can to welcome it to our already thriving arts scene. St. Petersburg is a city of the arts, and this museum is already an important part of that. I look forward to working with Rudy Ciccarello and everyone on the team at the museum, and cannot wait to cut the ribbon.”