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Whitney Museum Breaks Ground On Future Home In Downtown Manhattan

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, third left, and Whitney Museum Director Adam Weinberg, right, shovel dirt around artist Elizabeth Streb during ground breaking ceremonies for a new Whitney Museum, in New York,  Tuesday, May 24, 2011.  (credit: Richard Drew/AP)

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, third left, and Whitney Museum Director Adam Weinberg, right, shovel dirt around artist Elizabeth Streb during ground breaking ceremonies for a new Whitney Museum, in New York, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. (credit: Richard Drew/AP)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The Whitney Museum of American Art has broken ground on the site of its future home in downtown Manhattan.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the $720 million museum on Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District was attended by its architect, Renzo Piano, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other dignitaries.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports: Whitney Museum Breaks Ground On Future Home

whitney museum groundbreaking sff1 Whitney Museum Breaks Ground On Future Home In Downtown Manhattan

A member of the Streb Extreme Action Company breaks through a framed panel of mock glass during ground breaking ceremonies for a new Whitney Museum, in New York, Tuesday, May 24, 2011. (credit: Richard Drew/AP)

The asymmetrical design at the entrance to the High Line elevated park is projected to open in 2015. The new building will include more than 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space on a series of rooftops facing the High Line.

The building will also house an education center and a 170-seat theater.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it will strengthen the area’s ongoing revitalization.

“The new Whitney Museum will be New York City’s newest world-class cultural destination in one of the City’s most dynamic and distinctive locations,” said Bloomberg.

The museum has occupied its current Madison Avenue building since 1966.

The museum was founded by heiress Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. It has 18,000 American artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb: It Was An Artsy Groundbreakinghttp://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/lamb_whitney1w_morn_110525.mp3WCBS880reporterRichLambhasthestoryfromtheMeatpackingDistrict.

Are you excited about the new building? Let us know…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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