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BOSTON-The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved a multi-phased expansion proposal for the Museum of Fine Arts. The project will add a total of 551,000 sf to the existing building, nearly doubling the museum’s space.

The first phase of the plan involves the rehabilitation and refurbishment of up to 85,000 sf of existing space and new construction of up to 169,000 sf. Subsequent phases of the master plan project include the renovation and refurbishment of an additional 535,000 sf, and new construction of up to 382,000 sf.

The first phase will begin in early 2005 with expected completion in 2009. Subsequent phases are projected to begin within ten years after the completion of phase one. “Today’s approval marks the end of a public process that recognizes the Museum of Fine Arts as one of Boston’s most prized cultural centers and acknowledges their growth and expansion needs and balances those with the needs of the surrounding community,” says BRA director Mark Maloney.

A centerpiece of the project will be a free standing steel and glass enclosure set inside the East Courtyard. Future plans also include a similar steel and glass structure for the West Courtyard.

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