I want to implore PMA to go back to the drawing board and redesign its plans for extending the first-class museum.

My plea is directly motivated by Sarah Hansen’s column last week (“Commentary: Portland Museum of Art must now proceed with care,” March 19) and by visiting the museum this weekend to once again view the new design plans.

My personal opinion is that this expansive, expensive endeavor is totally unwarranted.

Yes, expansion is a good thing, but please make it more indigenous to the museum’s mission and Portland’s rich history. I am not aware of all the elements that went into the thinking for this plan, but on the surface, and as a 20-year member, it does not excite me. One, it fights with the original, and worthy Payson architecture, and second, its size and grandeur seems misplaced and overpowering in historic Portland.

I would like to see the present spaces, all five, redesigned to create a campus atmosphere, where visitors could meander through connecting pathways from building to building, including a special area dedicated to the Native American culture. This plan would reflect the museum’s current design as well as maintain the other buildings’ overall historic fabric.

Frank E. Reilly

Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: