The N.C. Museum of Art has received a $13 million donation that will allow it to expand its art park along Blue Ridge Road.
The project would be the first phase of a larger redevelopment of the 164-acre museum campus that would include a new entrance, new trails, more parking and additional outdoor works of art.
The first phase will include turning the 120-foot brick smokestack from the former Polk youth prison into a “dynamic work of art,” the museum said in announcing the plan. New York City-based artist Jim Hodges has been commissioned to transform the smokestack, a long-time landmark along Blue Ridge Road.
The donor of the $13 million wishes to remain anonymous, the museum said.
Work on the first phase is expected to begin next spring and will include new bike and walking paths along Blue Ridge Road that connect to the Capital Area Greenway system. The museum also says it is working with the city to establish a bus stop at the museum, with a new shelter.