Orlando Museum of Art announces plans for downtown expansion into luxury apartment tower


  • Rendering via SDG and Summa Development Group

The Orlando Museum of Art plans to open a second campus downtown.

Quickly approaching its hundredth year, the venerable art institution will take a space in a planned luxury apartments tower between Pine and Church Streets along Lake Avenue. The 33-story building will feature housing, but also a penthouse club, convention center, dog park and hotel.

In 2015, a report commissioned by the board first broached the idea of moving away from the Loch Haven building, which has the issues that any older, many-times-expanded building might have. "Forward to 100: Reimagining the Orlando Museum of Art in the 21st Century" proposed a new downtown home for OMA, and set Orlando arts observers' tongues wagging — the idea was roundly protested. It seems the intervening five years — and a softer, two-campus approach — have created an opening in Orlando residents' view of the move.

The expansion is part of an "aggressive relaunch" being touted by the museum. Along with the new campus outside their longtime home at Loch Haven Park, the museum plans to bring several exhibits by artists whose names even the most passingly interested art observer has heard. Among the upcoming exhibits shared along with the news of a new space were Jackson Pollock, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Rembrandt and Botticelli. Both the Pollock and Basquiat shows will feature rare works — a cache of newly discovered Pollock paintings, and 25 Basquiats that have never been exhibited before.

The works will be shown off in a renovated space, as the museum plans to update its current digs. The turn away from the museum's more contemporary bent is a plan to provide more for the community. Across their two campuses, they hope to show both long-respected artists that can draw in the average Orlandoan and stunning new work that can wow all kinds of art appreciators.

“We are celebrating our 2024 centennial with a commitment to be an even greater force in our community with two locations, highly regarded and sought-after works of art, and ultimately, a new dimension of unforgettable experiences at Orlando Museum of Art,” said OMA Chair Cynthia Brumback in a press release.

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