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Philadelphia Museum breaks ground on Gehry-led expansion

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/30/2017
Architect Frank Gehry listens to remarks during a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations and transformation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Architect Frank Gehry listens to remarks during a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations and transformation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Museum of Art has broken ground on a $196 million expansion project led by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Architect Frank Gehry, center right, tours the vaulted walkway after a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Architect Frank Gehry, center right, tours the vaulted walkway after a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Gehry was on hand Thursday for the event.

Architect Frank Gehry arrives for a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Architect Frank Gehry arrives for a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

It involves gutting an old auditorium, which will open up over 23,000 square feet of new gallery space and allow more of the museum's collection to be on display.

Guests arrive at the North Entrance for a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Guests arrive at the North Entrance for a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

It also will involve refurbishing and reopening a 640-foot-long vaulted walkway — closed since the 1960s — that runs beneath the museum's east terrace to the Schuylkill River on the west.

People tour a space under construction after a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press People tour a space under construction after a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

It's the most extensive reworking of the museum's interior in its 90-year history. It's scheduled for completion in 2020.

People tour the future location of a new forum after a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press People tour the future location of a new forum after a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The museum also announced a $525 million fundraising campaign to completely revamp the interior, enhance programming and add to the endowment.

A set of doors are shown in the vaulted walkway after a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press A set of doors are shown in the vaulted walkway after a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Architect Frank Gehry, right, speaks as Mayor Jim Kenney listens during a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations and transformation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) © The Associated Press Architect Frank Gehry, right, speaks as Mayor Jim Kenney listens during a groundbreaking ceremony for planned renovations and transformation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Thursday, March 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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