There was 5 feet of water in the basement. The roof, windows and masonry were all in extremely poor condition and it had been stripped of its mechanical systems and utility lines by scavengers. Design changes complicated the renovation, such as the removal of 5,000 square feet of the second floor to accommodate a new atrium, along with the addition of an exterior courtyard. Keeley cleared and graded the area before installing pavers and new landscaping. The museum, which worked closely with surrounding museums in an effort to compliment each others’ independence and preserve the historical significance of each, ended the project with all new mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems, along with a new elevator and new windows. The project was completed to coordinate with the opening of the Democratic National Convention several blocks away from the museum.
This project started with an 80-year-old abandoned building that was in rough shape.