The Art Museum is considering a 24-foot window in the center of the staircase that would connect underground galleries to an outside view of the Philadelphia skyline. If approved and implemented, the changes to the steps would mark the most significant alteration to the exterior of the Art Museum since its completion in 1928.
The blueprint for the museum’s enhancements come from renowned architect Frank Gehry, who is best known for dramatic, modernist designs, including the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.
While not definite, the changes affecting the iconic Art Museum steps are an option for consideration according to Timothy Rub, the museum’s director and chief executive officer.
Plans for the museum's expansion are expected to be unveiled on July 1st. The expansion could take a decade to complete but when finished would add as much as 169-thousand-square-feet of space and allow the museum to show off more of its collection of 230-thousand objects.
The "Rocky" steps as they are known in Philadelphia rank among the most popular tourist attractions in the city where visitors can often be seen running up and down the steps re-enacting scenes from the Sylvester Stallone movie. The “Rocky” statue also continues to be a premiere photo spot for tourists and residents alike visiting the Art Museum. The movie-prop-turned-museum-statue sits to the side of the famous steps and continues to be a popular draw to have wedding photos or selfies taken today.