Groundbreaking set for new museum

0
688

The Catalina Island Museum, the keeper of the island’s legacies, is poised to make history itself this weekend. On Saturday, Nov. 2, it will celebrate the groundbreaking for construction of the new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building.

The building site is located at 217 Metropole Ave., near the heart of Avalon. Construction is expected to take a little more than a year, and the new museum is slated to open in early 2015.

The Catalina Island Museum, the keeper of the island’s legacies, is poised to make history itself this weekend. On Saturday, Nov. 2, it will celebrate the groundbreaking for construction of the new Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building.

The building site is located at 217 Metropole Ave., near the heart of Avalon. Construction is expected to take a little more than a year, and the new museum is slated to open in early 2015.

The festivities will start at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at the new museum site, with live music by Dustbowl Revival, followed at 4 p.m. with the introduction of Dr. Michael De Marsche, the museum’s executive director and remarks from Angela Strege, president of the Catalina Island Museum Board of Trustees. There will be a discussion of the project’s Capital Campaign, donors will be presented, and finally, at 5 p.m., there will be a Champagne Toast.

“All of the members of the Board of Trustees are very excited about this next step. We have been working on this for many years and are thrilled to share this with the community of Avalon and Catalina Island,” said Strege when plans for the groundbreaking were announced in September. “It is going to be a great honor to have the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building of the Catalina Island Museum open in the near future.”

Wrigley Schreiner (“Blanny” to her friends), was the eldest child of Philip Knight Wrigley and Helen Atwater Wrigley. She was beloved by the people of Avalon.  Born April 19, 1923 in Chicago, IL, she died on Dec. 2, 2010.

A dynamic woman, she was known as a skilled equestrian, markswoman, rancher, pilot; author, poet, world traveler, and adventurer. She was a  champion Irish Wolfhound trainer, a philanthropist and her obituary said she had “an enigmatic personality,” that she was “kind, compassionate, generous, and humble, but also had an untamable free spirit.”

The architectural firm of Marengo Morton Architects of La Jolla designed the new museum building that will bear her name. It will provide more than 11,000 square feet of space and offer more than four times the overall square footage of the present museum.

The new facility will feature a spacious entrance lobby, visitor center and a digital theater that will screen a film on the history of Catalina. There will be a museum store, an outdoor atrium featuring a wall of cascading water and large exhibit galleries.

“We’re particularly excited about our Special Exhibitions gallery,” De Marsche said in September. “It will allow us to bring to the island art and photography exhibitions from anywhere in the world. And our gallery dedicated to the exhibition of plein air painting will allow us to exhibit for the first time our entire collection dedicated to this area.”

Topping off the new museum’s amenities will be garden just off the building and a large rooftop area for entertaining guests at museum events such as dinners, opening receptions and even weddings.

“We really tried to think outside the box when approaching the entire building, but I think the garden is completely unique,” De Marsche  said. “We placed a large projection screen on one of the buildings directly opposite an amphitheater in the garden that seats over 100 people. It will allow us to show films in the evening and provide an entertaining augment to any event.”

A wide spectrum of Catalina stakeholders and supporters of the Museum have already stated their approval for the project and appreciation of the board of trustees for its earlier vote to move forward with of the plans for the new facility.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Saturday, November 2

3:30 p.m.: Live music by Dustbowl Revival

4 p.m.: Welcome: Dr. Michael De Marsche, executive director, Catalina Island Museum

Remarks:  Angela Strege, president, Catalina Island Museum Board of Trustees

Steve Schreiner, Chairman of the Capital Campaign

Roy Rose, Citizen of Avalon

4:20 p.m.: Presentation of Donors

5 p.m.: Champagne Toast

The groundbreaking on Saturday is free and open to the public. For more information about the ceremony or the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building, please call 310-510-4650 or visit www.CatalinaMuseum.org.

Groundbreaking set for new museum