Mingei International Museum renovation, expansion project starts

mugei museum transformation

A $38 to $42 million project to renovate and expand the Mingei International Museum in San Diego has started. General contractor Layton Construction says it broke ground on the project on Dec. 4.

Improvements include an admission-free plaza level to welcome visitors, complete with a gallery, store, restaurant, and center for learning.

Layton executive vice-president John Thornton, who oversees the company’s Southern California commercial building group, sees the renovations as a great opportunity for everyone involved, including the public.

“We’re very excited to take on this project and provide something great for the museum, Balboa Park, and the San Diego community,” Thornton said in a statement. “It’s an incredible opportunity to take on such a historic project for the museum itself, but also something that will so heavily impact the surrounding area and provide a new experience for those who visit the park. We look forward to playing a key role in this transformation and really bringing something new to the local community and anyone who visits the area.”

The transformation will also include an education center for hands-on learning, a new multipurpose theater, as well as renovations to outdoor spaces and exhibition spaces on level two. With more than 46,000 sq. ft. of renovations and 6,500 in new additions, the museum will offer stunning space for art collections, a broad range of events, and educational opportunities.

“With Layton Construction at the helm of the renovation, and the contribution of many craftsmen and specialists, we are confident the transformed Mingei will become an even more special place of gathering, learning, engagement and inspiration,” said Mingei executive director Rob Sidner.


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