Visit Philadelphia reported today that "a 72-foot escalator will animate the iconic "Rocky" steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, beginning spring 2016," just in time for the Democratic National Convention. But! Before you start composing a stern/irate letter to management, cool your heels. It's April Fool's, after all.
However: Visit Philadelphia's president & CEO, Meryl Levitz reminds us that "the steps are not immune to change." Because remember Frank Gehry's plan to take a hacksaw (or whatever they use nowadays) to the Rocky Steps? It's still on like Donkey Kong.
Gehry's plan to cut a large chunk of our beloved Rocky Steps to create a street-level entrance, gallery windows for sunlight and dramatic views of City Hall and outdoor amphitheater has been met with no small amount of consternation. But, according to a Curbed Philly poll last summer, over 55% of you are in favor of Gehry's 'bold move.' The renovation and expansion "focus on opening up the interior space and making it more navigable for visitors." And lest you fear those iconic steps are going the way of the Dodo, the museum assures us that in Gehry's plan, "exterior changes to the museum are planned to be minimal."
The exact timeline for the series of projects is unknown, but it is expected the museum will be updated and expanded in time for its centennial celebration in 2028. Are you still in? Comment below.
· A closer look at Frank Gehry's master plan for the PMA [Visit Philadelphia]
· Frank Gehry's PMA master plan coverage [Curbed Philly]
· Philadelphia Museum of Art: Making the Classic Modern