Expansion FAQs

What is the sculpture garden expansion?
Why does NOMA want an expansion?
Where is the expansion located?
How does the sculpture garden expansion benefit the community?
What are the benefits of the project?
Will the garden create additional noise, light, or harm to nature?
What storm water management provisions have been incorporated into the project?
Who is paying for it?
Will the city pay for upkeep and maintenance?
How will this affect traffic in that area of City Park?
Who are NOMA’s partners on this effort?
When will construction take place?
How does NOMA plan to protect wildlife in the area?

 

What is the sculpture garden expansion?

The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden opened in 2003 on a five-acre site adjacent to NOMA, housing over 64 sculptures by modern and contemporary artists.

The Sculpture Garden expansion now includes an additional six acres of land in New Orleans City Park, with sites for additional sculptures, as well as an amphitheatre and stage, pedestrian bridges and walkways, a sculpture pavilion, and an outdoor learning environment. Like the existing garden, it is free and open to the public seven days a week.

Why did NOMA want an expansion?

NOMA’s initiative to expand the sculpture garden, and keep it free to the public, is critical to our vision for the future of the museum, especially as we focus on increasing community access to the arts, growing our constituency, and making all of the museum’s spaces learning environments, inside and out.

Where is the expansion located?

Set within New Orleans’ historic City Park, the six-acre expansion includes an additional six acres in City Park – an area of land across Franklin D. Roosevelt Mall, bordered by Golf Drive, Berky’s Circle, E. Alferez Drive, and Collins Diboll Circle, adjacent to the New Orleans Museum of Art.

How does the sculpture garden expansion benefit the community?

NOMA’s primary mission is to share significant art and artists with the broadest possible public. The expansion enables NOMA to offer an increase in available programming and learning environments such as film screenings, theater productions, physical wellness classes, community workshops, events, tours, and city-wide festivals. An outdoor classroom at the north edge of the garden will provide a flexible and informal gathering space, offering opportunities for classes and special projects.

In addition to the site-specific productions and performances in the sculpture garden expansion, the diverse character of the vegetation and lagoon setting offers many opportunities for artists to create work and for visitors to experience sculpture. Like the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, the expansion is free, and open to the public seven days a week.

What are the benefits of the project?

The Sculpture Garden expansion will serve as an incubator for creative experiences, a civic resource uniting artists and audiences, and a destination for interdisciplinary arts in New Orleans. Additionally, the expansion incorporates vegetation indigenous to the region as a setting for the experience of sculpture and the performing arts.

The lagoon provides the focus of the sculpture garden expansion. The existing lagoon within the perimeters of the sculpture garden expansion area has been reshaped to emphasize the expanse of the open water, and is designed to capture, clean and aerate water as a healthy and sustainable resource. Reshaping and stabilizing the lagoon shoreline will increase storage capacity, improve water quality, and reduce loads on the municipal drainage system.

Will the garden create any harm to nature?

Environmental impact has been at the forefront of our planning. The engineering and environmental professionals who worked on this project addressed environmental concerns from the inception.

The reshaped lagoon enables the volume of water to remain exactly the same. Prior to construction, the circumference of the lagoon within the perimeter of the sculpture garden expansion area was 22,000 linear feet. The circumference of the lagoon is now 20,000 linear feet at the lagoon edge. The addition of cypress islands brings the circumference of the lagoon to 26,000 linear feet. Prior to development, the lagoon currently held 2,491,148 gallons of water. The lagoon now holds 3,057,483 gallons of water.

The expansion will further unite the garden and park by preserving and improving physical and visual connections between the new sculpture garden and New Orleans City Park.

Walking paths disclose an itinerary of intimate and expansive places around the lagoons. Path materials respond to the plants and ground conditions of the garden – transforming from paved path into raised boardwalk where routes move out over water or across the roots of the existing live oaks.

What storm water management provisions have been incorporated into the project?

Water is a central theme in the sculpture garden expansion, and specifically, improving water quality within the lagoon system via green infrastructure. The on-site drainage improvements involve a series of best management practices that will not only provide enhanced storage of rainfall, but also promote water quality enhancement via natural filtration.

These Best Management Practices include:

  • Bioswales that will promote filtration of street drainage via green strategies before discharging to the lagoon.
  • Wetland Edge Treatments along most edges of the lagoon to filter sheet flow from the site draining into the lagoon. Their use will both stabilize the current eroded pond edges and provide a water quality improvement for areas from the site that drain into the lagoon.
  • The lagoon will continue to function as a Best Management Practice for detaining runoff volume but will be improved by dredging the existing silted bottom and reshaping/stabilizing its eroded edges.

Who is paying for it?

The project has been entirely funded by private donors.

Will the city pay for upkeep and maintenance?

All maintenance and upkeep will be privately funded. There is no cost to the city, only benefit.

How will this affect traffic in that area of City Park?

We do not anticipate any negative impact on traffic. We do want to acknowledge that the Children’s Museum remains simultaneously be under construction.

Who are NOMA’s partners on this effort?

We worked with design partners Reed-Hilderbrand and Lee Ledbetter & Associates. Our construction partner is Palmisano.

When will construction take place?

Construction is anticipated to take place from early 2018 through early 2019.

How does NOMA plan to protect the wildlife in the area?

Our Environmental Protection Plan, developed by an environmental consultant working in partnership with Palmisano, detailed protocols for the entire team to follow during construction to address potential environmental concerns within the park. The plan outlined a four-phased protocol for protecting birds and fish in the expansion area.

The Environmental Protection Plan addresses potential environmental concerns identified through consultation with New Orleans City Park management, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and private environmental consultants

The three primary goals of the plan are: minimize impacts to wildlife, avoid impacts to water quality, and minimize impacts to the visitor experience.

 

 

 

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