Friday, March 4, 2011

Replacing our historic glass roof

As you may have read in the Andover Townsman and elsewhere, when our current exhibitions come down at the end of this month, the Addison will take a more extended break than we typically do in the summertime. From March 28, 2011 through mid-October 2011, the Addison will close for the final phase of renovation, the replacement of the museum’s historic glass roof. The museum’s recently added Museum Learning Center will remain open during that time; a schedule of educational programs and events, as well as an occasional look at the roof replacement progress, will be available on the Addison’s web site,, as well as its Facebook page.

While the Addison’s 2008-2010 renovation and expansion included repairs to the museum’s 80-year-old roof, once construction was well under way, it became clear that more extensive treatment of the entire roof would be necessary in order to safeguard the museum’s building and its collection. Throughout last spring and summer, a meticulous engineering study of the roof’s condition and examination of all feasible repair and replacement options was carried out.  This has resulted in a comprehensive and innovative approach that will maintain the museum’s glass roof and assure long-term protection.

Addison staff and Phillips Academy leadership agreed to make temporary repairs to the existing roof to enable a September 2010 opening for the museum.  By doing so, the Addison was able to maintain its 2010-11 exhibition schedule, which included two traveling exhibitions, Sheila Hicks: 50 Years, and John La Farge’s Second Paradise: Voyages in the South Seas, 1890-1891. The full roof replacement was then scheduled for spring and summer of 2011, with an extended summer closure that would have minimum impact on the Addison’s prior commitments.

The Addison, designed by architect Charles Platt, opened in 1931. For the last 80 years, the museum’s  glass roof has contributed to the essential character of the building’s exterior appearance and has enhanced the experience of viewing art by allowing UV-filtered natural light to fill the second floor galleries.  It is gratifying and exciting that the school and the Addison have worked together to assure the retention of Charles Platt’s elegant and masterful architecture for generations to come.

We encourage you to come visit the Addison in advance of March 28 to enjoy the exhibitions currently on view.