GREENWICH, CT – The Bruce Museum’s capital expansion project has received a $15 million lead gift from William L. Richter. The gift, the largest to the campaign to date, will support construction of the new art wing. A longtime resident of Greenwich, Richter is co-founder of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.
Said Mr. Richter, “I was inspired by the Museum’s bold plans for the future and particularly admire the appearance of the building, as well as its functionality. I’m honored by the thought that my name will be on the new art wing, and I hope that this gift to the Bruce and to the Town of Greenwich will be the catalyst for further progress in making it a reality.”
“We are delighted to announce this substantial pledge toward the completion of the New Bruce,” says Peter C. Sutton, Director Emeritus. “This is truly a tipping point in the campaign. Our gratitude to Bill Richter will endure for the life of the institution.”
Robert Wolterstorff, who on June 1 became the Museum’s new Susan E. Lynch Executive Director, adds, “What a thrill to step into the Museum at such an auspicious moment! Mr. Richter’s gift moves us dramatically closer to our $45 million construction goal. I am so grateful for his extraordinary generosity and vision. This is leadership that will inspire others to step in to personally make a transformative impact on the Greenwich community.”
The centerpiece of the New Bruce is a three-story, 40,000 square-foot addition that will more than double the size of the current Museum, offering more space for both art and science. Designed by the prestigious New Orleans firm of Eskew + Dumez + Ripple, the building will open directly onto Bruce Park and feature a delicate striated façade of cast stone and glass inspired by the surfaces of Connecticut’s rock quarries.
The New Bruce project – the first since a $4.3 million expansion in 1992 – is already under way, with expansion and improvements to the Museum’s parking lot completed in the fall of 2018. The next phase of construction is expected to proceed in the fall of 2019 with the renovation of the current changing gallery spaces. These enhancements will be followed, in early 2020, by a complete renovation and reinvention of the permanent science galleries, which will occupy the existing building. Groundbreaking for the art wing will take place spring-summer 2020. The Museum will remain open for almost the entire construction project.
When complete, this unprecedented initiative will expand the Museum from 30,000 to 70,000 square feet, adding state-of-the-art exhibition galleries for art and science, new education spaces, and a restaurant, auditorium, and meeting spaces that will make the Museum a vibrant center for the Greenwich community.
With the $15 million gift announced today, the Campaign for the New Bruce is 75 percent of the way toward the construction goal of $45 million. The overall $60 million campaign includes an additional $15 million for the Museum’s Endowment, to ensure sustainability and support new programs. More than $5 million has been raised for the Endowment to date.
The Museum building and its collections of more than 20,000 objects are resources owned by the Town of Greenwich and held in trust for the people of Greenwich by a separate, privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Bruce Museum, Inc. The Museum receives financial support from the Town of Greenwich for select maintenance and facilities expenditures. Bruce Museum, Inc. is responsible for all other ongoing operational and administrative costs. The New Bruce construction, renovation, and endowment project will be financed by private, corporate, and foundation support secured through the campaign’s fundraising efforts.
The Campaign for the New Bruce is led by a committee that includes Frederic H. Brooks, Patricia W. Chadwick, William Deutsch, Nancy E. Duffy, Kathy Epstein, Vicki Netter Fitzgerald, Robert B. Goergen, Sachiko Goodman, Tracy Holton, John Ippolito, Jan Rogers Kniffen, Arianne F. Kolb, Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., Cricket Lockhart, James B. Lockhart III, Susan V. Mahoney, Deborah Simon, and Heidi Brake Smith.
PHOTO: A rendering of the New Bruce art wing.