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Please dont get rid of the steps. This idea is absurd. leave them be!!!! It would change thw way I thought of home town forever

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Anonymous - 7.26.2014 - 9:24 PM
Frank Gehry mentions in his video clip that he likes the idea of "flying under the radar" when it comes to the remodel of the museum. Splitting the iconic steps that represent the heart of Philly is not flying under the radar at all---it's an intrusion of style that's like taking three stripes out of the middle of the American Flag. Truly work under the radar. Leave the steps.

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Taylor-Ambassador Member - 7.26.2014 - 4:54 PM
Please don't split the steps. Let the view remain outside and guide the eye down the city

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Atha - 7.26.2014 - 4:44 PM
Wow Wow Wow Wow Wow... My family and I are so excited by these expansion plans. Thank you so much to everyone that visits, contributes, and works here. Philadelphia is so blessed to receive this blessing and all of our families will benefit from this beautiful architectural expansion. Generations of Philadelphians will benefit from planning like this. We should all be so proud...

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Todd Agostini - 7.26.2014 - 3:42 PM
I love many of the changes to the museum. What's not to like about new space, new views, and the chance to view more art? But I find myself disappointed by the proposed changes to the stairs. The stairs are not only iconic (for many reasons), they're an integral part of the museum as a whole. The steps aren't just a way of accessing the front entrance. They're not just a pathway. They're part of an experience. Removing the middle of the steps transforms climbing them from a transcendent experience in which one leaves the city behind to enter the museum, into one in which climbs an annoyingly long flight of stairs to enter the museum. The steps are more than just exercise equipment for Philadelphians. They are a gathering place. Visit the museum on any weekend in the spring, summer, or fall, and people will be gathered on them, talking, sitting, reading, enjoying the view of the city. Right now people can easily move around those enjoying the steps. When you take out the middle chunk of the stairs you again, remove the ability to enjoy the stairs and turn them into an annoyingly long staircase. It becomes a place for movement, not a place of rest. Finally, the amphitheater. I understand why there is a desire for an outdoor theater. But is it really necessary? There will be an auditorium, the great stair hall, and the steps as they currently stand all provide viewing platforms. Taking the steps that are used for so many purposes right now and turning them into a single-purpose space which will be empty and unused 95 % of the time (and removing the view from the stairs) is a terrible waste of space.Right now you are home to one of the great public spaces in Philadelphia. I understand the desire for something new, something transformative. But please don't change what is rightly regarded as one of the most iconic and important locations in Philadelphia. Yours,Harrison

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Harrison H - 7.26.2014 - 3:33 PM
I agree with everything Joe Ferraro wrote a few posts earlier. My fear is that the Art Establishment will be so in love with the name Gehry that they will dismiss the thousands of people who say to preserve the steps and go ahead and cut the steps in half. I think you can accomplish 95% of what you want to do without destroying the most recognizable place in the city.

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Charlie J (PMA member) - 7.26.2014 - 1:49 PM
I'd leave the East Entrance steps (Rocky Steps) as they are. I'd also leave the pavilion alone, as well as the fountain. However, Mr. Gehry's proposed improvements for the building's interior are fine by me. So let it be written. So let it be done.

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Steven D. Levin, Member since 1999 - 7.25.2014 - 8:30 PM
I hope the leadership of the Art Museum will reconsider this proposal. I am a fan of some of Gehry's work (Disney, Bilbao), but those are stand alone buildings which make a statement. This building already makes its own statement. Classical architecture with a classic art collection. Either build a completely new Museum by Gehry, or properly rehab this building in a way that respects its authentic character. Find an architect who is less interested in making his own statement, and more interested in doing right by the existing structure and the City of Philadelphia.

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Mark Dollase - 7.24.2014 - 11:59 PM
Wow. Much sophisticated. Very culture.

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Andre - 7.24.2014 - 3:19 PM
I'm utterly horrified at the proposed mutilation of the great pediment overlooking the plaza and Parkway. Whatever disingenuous name you might wish to apply to this innovation, au fond it's just a Sky Box for over-privileged big-ticket donors. Installing this vanity window would also put paid to the hope that this and all other pediments will at last be filled with polychrome sculptural groups. To abandon this long-deferred promise would constitute a betrayal of the first order. To my mind it's even worse than the proposed mutilation of the grand steps.

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David Aherne - 7.24.2014 - 11:39 AM
I thought an art museum was a place to preserve art; unless you are making a meta statement about art by destroying the tools of the artist (ala Pete Townsend) or you want to stick it in the face of the general populace that you somehow know what is better than the regular person.

The Rocky Steps are art in and of themselves. From the time the foundation was laid at the museum, they are part of an artistic expression and vision of the original architects. Has anyone really seriously said that original plan and vision was lacking?

Sticking an orifice in the middle of the steps destroys the vision approaching the Art Museum from the outside world.

The steps themselves are a palette that was brilliantly used during the Dali Exhibition where the ad for the show was cut up and placed inside the risers of the steps. You could see the mustache 2 miles away. Won’t be able to do that if you stick a hole in the middle of the steps…

The steps are part of the character of this region – as much as the Clothespin or Franklin’s Kite or the Love Statue in Love Park.

If you consider film to be an artistic endeavor, Rocky (the first movie) is certainly in a class by itself (well ok - Raging Bull is right next to it). The story of nobody becoming somebody – even when falling just short – that is art. (Lost the fight and won the Oscar.)

The film’s storytelling construction wasn’t used before, but has been copied a million times since. You can see a mile off when a film is going to use the ‘Rocky’ formula. Go watch some Disney films from the last 20 years. You can go into the technical aspects of the film that were state of the art of the day (the steadycam) enhancing the artistic experience.

Those steps are a focal point and character of the film – where fiction actually hands a baton to real life.

Is art supposed to inspire?

The film inspires, otherwise what about all those folks grabbing the baton and charging the steps.

The Rocky Steps embodies what Art is supposed to be.

The ultimate irony of Rocky’s loss in the first movie is that it was decided by the powers that be – not in the ring. If you watch it over again – Rocky could have gotten the decision. As we sit here debating the Rocky Steps – again it may be decided that Rocky loses by the powers that be. An interesting underlining of fiction and real life.

If the Art establishment of this city doesn’t get that we enjoy this form of public art – they need to get over themselves.

In a weird sort of way destroying an outside structure everyone enjoys for the enjoyment of those on the inside is an artistic statement too. Those on the inside bunker surrounded by luxury trump the wants and desires of the general population on the outside.

I think it is pretty funny that unless the Commission is talking about moving the General Washington Statue from Eakins Oval, the vision as you stare out towards City Hall will be looking right at the hind quarters of General Washington’s Horse.

You can destroy this work of art - but there is no way you guys will have half the panache of Pete Townsend doing it.

Web Comment
Joe Ferraro - 7.24.2014 - 10:42 AM
Hey how about some money to finish the sculptures inside the pediments (the triangles at the top of each wing)? If part of the point is to make more space for Eastern and Modern Art, how about representing those on the outside of the museum? This should be a no brainer and cost little money. Hell, I could get some of my buddies to tag the brick for the "modern" section for free. ;)Also I love this goofy comment PC. It's Art Museum 2.0!

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Justin Roman - 7.23.2014 - 8:22 PM
Not a resident, so not as familiar with the museum as others, but I do really like most of the proposals. I extremely dislike the idea for cutting into the front stairs. The view from the lower level towards city hall is not that great. Altering the stairs is not worth it.I also dislike the perfunctory stair tower additions. I realize they are required, but I believe they could be improved upon. Perhaps distinguishing from the existing would be better here, rather than attempting to blend in. Could be an opportunity for a signature flourish of metal or glass. Unless they are hidden with foliage, the simple forms, albeit with a glass reveal, feel foreign and tacked on to the existing.

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Matt Hildebrandt - 7.23.2014 - 5:07 PM
Once again, Philadelphians fail to realize what makes them unique and special and purge anything that appears to have personality. Love park comes to mind - that was a great place to skate back in the day. Sigh...
Redesigning - destroying - the front steps, made world famous by our beloved movie, is just plain stupid. Like it or not, the Rocky movie has given Philly personality and style. Albeit rough around the edges it is who we are. I will be sad to see those steps and the personality purged from our history, only to be replaced by something ultimately bland and benign. Because its purpose is to generate cash and designed by a guy foreign to our city.

Web Comment
cicc - 7.22.2014 - 11:36 PM
It is thrilling to see models of a very intriguing plan to enlarge the gallery space to allow more of the great collection to be on exhibit. It also is amazing to see the fabulous light able to be brought into the space while additionally making movement through the space so much more sensible. I look forward to seeing the dramatic and wonderful changes occur over time.

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Jackie Wolf - 7.22.2014 - 4:39 PM
Really excited about Gehry's design! I have been coming to this museum for about forty years and love it so much. It's exciting to think it will become even more of a destination to world travelers and give the museum more room to exhibit their treasures. What a wonderful, transformative opportunity!

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Susan Duncan - 7.22.2014 - 3:19 PM
Overall, a very impressive treatment of existing spaces, and the proposed expansions make sense. BUT -- Please do not mess with the Steps! You seem to have no idea how iconic they really are! (I note that the quite beautiful architectural models do not show all the stair runners...) The view from the top of the steps is already the iconic Parkway view; there is no need to add another one, in particular one that offers relatively little panorama. This goes doubly if the pediment does, in fact, become an overlook, in addition to the current view offered from the tapestry gallery at the top of the Great Stair.Skylight in the fountain, check; skylights in the plaza, check; cutting into the edges of the plaza, check. So why mess with the Steps (capitalized because that's what all the international guidebooks do.)

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Greg Pastore - 7.22.2014 - 2:30 PM
Love the Rocky stairs! The new design incorporates the Rocky stairs so I think it's a good design. Keep it as original as can be.

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Dotty Donovan - 7.22.2014 - 2:04 PM
Love most of the changes, but disagree with the idea of glazing the pediments and most of all hate the idea of cutting into the wonderful stair to the front of the building. It's not broken.....Don't "fix" it.

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Larry - 7.22.2014 - 1:13 PM
First time here was an amazing experience. The art makes you want to be back in that time period. From Brooklyn N.Y. by way of Delaware.

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Ken Butler - 7.20.2014 - 3:47 PM