We received our final building permit at the beginning of last month - we are over the last hurdle and site prep is well underway. The construction crew is now grinding up the existing concrete pad and leveling the site. Once that happens, the crew will install over 300 pilings into the ground. Pile caps and grade beams will form the initial foundation for the steel structure, which will start going up in mid-February 2017. We’re working on a special website feature for real-time construction updates as well, so stay tuned for that.
I just returned from another successful trip to the Nordic countries. This time I had the privilege of bringing our New York exhibition team, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, to Copenhagen where we met with the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation, who recently supported the museum with a $4 million gift. The foundation is very happy with the progress our design team has made to develop a world class core exhibition for the new Nordic Museum. I also met with National Museums in Denmark and Norway, and they all confirmed their willingness to loan us artifacts of historical significance to the new core exhibition. In particular, the Norwegian Cultural History Museum has agreed to loan us a collection of Viking grave finds.
I also traveled to Stockholm to meet with The Wallenberg Foundations. Our meeting was a great opportunity to share more about our vision for the new museum and update them on the progress of construction. I look forward to continuing to foster a strong relationship with the Foundations, now and into the future.
Finally, it is always a pleasure for me to travel in the Nordic countries, and this time I had a chance to visit Skagen in the northernmost part of Denmark. The city is known for the Skagen Painters – a group of Scandinavian artists who gathered in the village from the late 1870s until the turn of the century. They were attracted by the special light in the area, and after my visit there, I can only confirm, that this is an amazing place.