What is the sculpture garden expansion?
Why does NOMA want an expansion?
Where will it be located?
How does the sculpture garden expansion benefit the community?
What are the benefits of the project?
What storm water management provisions have been incorporated into the project?
Will the garden create additional noise, light, or harm to nature?
What will happen to the Girl Scout cabin on the property?
How much disruption to City Park, during construction and after the expansion?
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?
The existing Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a five-acre site adjacent to NOMA, housing over 64 sculptures by modern and contemporary artists.
The Sculpture Garden expansion will include 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 will be free and open to the public seven days a week.
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.
Set within New Orleans’ historic City Park, the proposed six-acre expansion will include 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.
NOMA’s primary mission is to share significant art and artists with the broadest possible public. The expansion will enable 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 will be free, and open to the public seven days a week.
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 will be 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 working on this project have been addressing environmental concerns since its inception. We are going about the design process with utmost respect to the citizens of New Orleans, New Orleans City Park, and surrounding areas.
The reshaped lagoon will enable the volume of water to remain exactly the same. At present, the circumference of the lagoon within the perimeter of the sculpture garden expansion area is 22,000 linear feet. After construction, the circumference of the lagoon will be 20,000 linear feet at the lagoon edge. The addition of cypress islands brings the circumference of the lagoon to 26,000 linear feet. Upstream of the weir, the lagoon currently holds 2,491,148 gallons of water. After construction, the lagoon will hold 3,057,483 gallons of water. Downstream of the weir, the lagoon currently holds 287,813 gallons of water. After construction, the lagoon will hold 516,043 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.
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.
The Girl Scout cabin on the property will remain in place and be fully accessible to the Girl Scouts for their scouting activities and programs.
There will be minimal disruption to City Park. The area under construction will be fenced during the project, and any deliveries/hauling will be coordinated to occur at non-peak hours. The park has ample parking; we will, however, ensure that contractor parking does not disrupt visitor access.
The project will be entirely funded by private donors.
All maintenance and upkeep will be privately funded. There will be no cost to the city, only benefit.
We do not anticipate any negative impact on traffic. We do want to acknowledge that the Children’s Museum will simultaneously be under construction.
We are working with design partners Reed-Hilderbrand and Lee Ledbetter & Associates. Our construction partner is Palmisano.
The project will be executed with the highest standards.
Construction is anticipated to take place from early 2018 through early 2019.
Our Environmental Protection Plan, developed by an environmental consultant working in partnership with Palmisano, details protocols for the entire team to follow during construction to address potential environmental concerns within the park. The plan outlines 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.