The new Whitney Museum building of American Art has overwhelmingly come through on a promise made thirty years ago to expand and make it more inviting to tourists. Making this possible meant moving from the previous location on the Upper East Side to a new building in the industrial district along the Hudson River. The nine-story Museum complex was designed by the renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano and at a cost of four hundred and twenty-two million dollars. There is now plenty of room to house the over twenty-two thousand objects of art to be viewed and studied.
The industrial style exterior with tons of steel and glass give it a modern contemporary feel, but walking in there is an almost comfortable coziness to the atmosphere. Even first-time visitors get the feeling that they have been there before. The placement of the new Whitney Museum strategically has it at the end of the High Line, which was the former elevated train track now converted to a traditional park. There is sure to be an increase in visitors, and they are hoping to beat the three hundred and fifty thousand annual average visits over the past few years.
The outdoor terrace houses consist of many large sculpture pieces, and the views are stunning. Since these pieces out of the way, the interior of the Whitney seems less cluttered. The promise of creating a more global feel to the artwork on display will most likely happen over time. It still has a metropolitan ambiance. The new building is good for the locals, but increasing tourism to the new Whitney building will need to step outside of conventional city works and demonstrating American art that comes from multi-cultural backgrounds.
The new Whitney Museum of American Art building has the space to grow and flourish in ways it was never able to in the old building. You could check it out because it is worth a visit to explore the fun new building design and discover the feel of the city through the eyes of the artists that have captured it so well.