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July 25, 2023

Philly's newest art museum Calder Gardens could open by late 2024

The $70 million construction project, dedicated to the work of sculptor Alexander "Sandy" Calder, is finally moving forward on Ben Franklin Parkway after delays

Arts & Culture Museums
calder-gardens-art-museum.jpg COURTESY CALDER FOUNDATION/for PhillyVoice

An artist rendering of Calder Gardens, the new art museum dedicated to the work of Alexander "Sandy" Calder that is expected to open in late 2024 or early 2025.

Philadelphia is about to get another world class art museum. Calder Gardens, a museum dedicated to the work of famed sculptor Alexander "Sandy" Calder, is now officially under construction and on track to open by late 2024 or early 2025, according to a report from the Inquirer.

The $70 million construction project broke ground in 2022 but experienced some delays that reportedly included a recently discovered water main that needed to be relocated and extra flood protection work. Once complete, Calder Gardens will sit on the Ben Franklin Parkway between 21st and 22nd streets, amidst some of the city's most reputable cultural institutions like the Barnes Foundation and the Rodin Museum.

The new museum, designed by the same architectural firm behind the esteemed Tate Modern in London, will house many works from the Pennsylvania-born Calder, who is best known for his distinctive "mobiles," static "stabiles" and monumental public sculptures. The museum will also showcase Calder's paintings from the Calder Foundation in New York City.

Calder comes from a long line of artists responsible for iconic works in and around Philadelphia. His grandfather Alexander Milne Calder made the statue of William Penn that overlooks the city from the top of City Hall, while his father Alexander Stirling Calder created the equally iconic Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan Square.

Alexander "Sandy" Calder's mobiles, a type of kinetic sculpture that he is credited with inventing, can be seen hanging inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, not far from where Calder Gardens will open, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. His Three Discs, One Lacking sculpture can be viewed at Levy Park.