The Denver Art Museum announced today that J. Landis Martin, the chairman of its board, and his wife, Sharon, have given $25 million toward renovating its Gio Ponti–designed building. Construction is slated to begin by the end of next year, with the project expected to be completed in 2021. The Martins’ donation is the largest gift the museum has ever received.
To renovate the building, DAM will spend a total of $150 million. In doing so, the museum aims to expand its gallery spaces and better integrate its grounds with the building itself. Fentress Architects of Denver and Machado Silvetti are currently overseeing the design process.
The museum’s North Building, as Ponti called it, is the only completed structure that the Italian architect designed in North America. Initially opened in 1971, it is considered by some to be the first high-rise museum ever.
“The North Building is considered one of the most significant objects in the museum’s collection, and our family is honored to support the much-needed rehabilitation required to bring it into the 21st century,” J. Landis Martin, the managing director of Platt River Equity, said in a statement.