The Gardner Museum's Expansion: What Does It Mean For Boston Architecture?34:09

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When you hear that superstar architects Renzo Piano and Norman Foster both designed headline grabbing buildings that stand right around the corner from each other, and opened within a little more than a year of each other, you might think we're talking about the latest building boom in New York.

But we're not. We're talking about right here in Boston. Foster, of course, designed the massive Art of the Americas wing at the Museum of Fine Arts. It opened in late 2010. And on Thursday, Renzo Piano makes his mark on another Boston arts institution: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and it's new $114 million expansion.

On Thursday's show, we're going to talk about museums, art and architecture - and how the three are meeting in exciting new ways in Boston. Have you seen the new expansion at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum? What do you think? Did Renzo Piano honor the original Venetian styled palace with his new glass and steel structure?

Same question for Norman Foster's addition to the MFA. And what do you make of the fact that some of the most exciting architecture in town is happening at some of our oldest institutions? What are the challenges of bringing architecture forward in a city with as much history as Boston?


  • George Thrush, professor and director of architecture, Northeastern University.
  • Sebastian Smee, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic, The Boston Globe.

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This program aired on January 19, 2012.



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