Uptown's new Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, part of the Wachovia cultural campus rising on Tryon Street, remains on schedule and has not been affected by the bank's impending takeover, its director said Friday.
Opening day for the $18 million museum is still expected in the spring of 2010, though it's possible it may come as early as winter of 2009, said John Boyer, the Bechtler's executive director.
Brick veneer outer walls are being installed at the distinctive building, which features a 10,000-square-foot, fourth-floor main exhibition area that juts out over South Tryon atop a single column.
That column, which swells in the middle, is being prefabricated in Buffalo, N.Y., where a terra cotta application is being applied before shipment to Charlotte, Boyer said.
A prefabricated system of ceiling vaults is being installed in the fourth-floor gallery. “It's a pretty complicated creature and it's looking good,” Boyer said.
When completed, the Bechtler will be the home of the 1,000-plus item collection of retired Charlotte businessman Andreas Bechtler. Assembled by Bechtler's father and uncle, the collection is of mostly 20th-century European modern art including works by artists such as Giacometti and Picasso.
Art that will be displayed for the opening is still being selected, Boyer said.
Other components of the cultural campus include the Knight Theater, and new homes for the Mint Museum and the Afro-American Cultural Center.
Under a 2006 agreement, the city and county will buy the centers from Wachovia or its successor upon competition for $127 million.
Contributions from Bank of America and the Arts & Science Council is to cover $10 million of that, with the rest coming from rental car taxes and taxes pegged to the improvement of the two-block property, which includes stores and a 48-story office tower.