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Topping out the Anchorage Museum's new expansion

  • Author: Loren Holmes
  • Updated: July 14, 2016
  • Published July 6, 2016

Ironworker Adam Rushing guides a 2,200-pound steel beam into place atop the Anchorage Museum’s new $24 million expansion on Wednesday. The placement of the final beam is known as “topping out,” and it celebrates the completion of the steel structure. However, the expansion won’t be finished until fall 2017. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)

The Anchorage Museum celebrated a milestone on Wednesday as ironworkers perched high above Sixth Avenue secured the final structural steel beam, officially topping out the new $24 million expansion. Watching from the ground below were museum director Julie Decker, architect John Weir and project manager Luke Blomfield.

Anchorage Museum director Julie Decker, second from right, along with architect John Weir, left, and project manager Luke Blomfield, right, watch the final steel beam being placed atop the Anchorage Museum’s new $24 million expansion on Wednesday. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)

"This will allow us to have more of our art collection on view," said Decker. "It's a realization of our master plan. Even in tough economic times, I think it's important for our community to think about the future."

Work will continue on the new 25,000-square-foot expansion, with an opening planned for September 2017, coinciding with the unveiling of the re-envisioned Alaska Gallery.

Signatures from construction workers and others adorn the last steel beam to be placed atop the Anchorage Museum’s new $24 million expansion on Wednesday. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)
Ironworker Mike Zimmerman bolts into place a 2,200-pound steel beam atop the Anchorage Museum’s new $24 million expansion on Wednesday. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)
The inside of the Anchorage Museum’s new $24 million expansion on Wednesday. The 25,000-square-foot expansion is expected to open in fall 2017. (Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News)

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