Portland Art Museum Announces Renovation Will Be Done in Late 2025

The museum also released a list of funders who gave multimillion-dollar donations to the project.

Rendering of the completed Portland Art Museum, including the glass Rothko Pavilion bridging PAM's historic buildings. (Portland Art Museum)

The Portland Art Museum announced today that its campus expansion and renovation project will be open to the public in late 2025. That timeline is on track with what PAM has been telling patrons since the renovation broke ground more than a year ago.

The project centers on the creation of a new 24,000-square-foot Mark Rothko Pavilion, named after the late renowned abstract expressionist painter who spent his childhood in Portland. (The pavilion overcame a snag early on, when the museum raised money for the project before getting legal permission for the construction.)

This will provide a new “transparent, welcoming ‘front door’ to the museum,” as the glass pavilion will connect the museum’s two historic Main and Mark buildings, according to PAM. Upon completion of the expansion and renovation, visitors will notice completely reinstalled galleries; new, more intuitive pathways; and increased visibility for its Native American and contemporary art collections; and the library and research center will move to the first floor of the Mark Building. The interior of PAM’s Whitsell Auditorium will get a face-lift, and there will be a new cafe and expanded store.

“Though the Museum has remained open during construction, we are looking forward to welcoming our community back to experience a new PAM next year,” Brian Ferriso, the museum’s executive director and chief curator, said in a statement. “Our transformed campus will invite visitors to make meaningful connections with art, find inspiration, and spark their creativity.”

Indeed, the $111 million expansion is one of the most significant capital investments in the arts in the history of Oregon, according to the museum. The campus expansion will add 95,000 square feet of new or upgraded public and gallery space. It is being designed by Portland’s Hennebery Eddy Architects in partnership with Chicago’s Vinci Hamp Architects.

As for funding, the museum has just under $12 million left to raise toward its $111 million construction cost. (Officials also hope to raise $30 million for the museum’s endowment, they say.)

About 98% of the cost of this project has been privately funded. More than 300 donors have given to the campaign, with gifts ranging from $1,000 to $13.5 million. That big number came from the late Arlene Schnitzer. Other lead campaign gifts include $8 million from an anonymous donor and $5 million donations from the following patrons: Mary and Tim Boyle; Ryan and Mary Finley; Trudy and Pat Ritz; Nani S. Warren; and Helen Jo and Bill Whitsell.

“This project would not be possible without the generous support of so many people from Portland and across the region, along with the foundations and businesses who value the role that the arts play in our city,” Alix Meier Goodman, chair of PAM’s board of trustees, said in a statement.

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