The Mills College Art Museum is undergoing a renovation or ‘retro-fit’ to stabilize the building, according to Assistant Dean and Director of the Art Museum Stephanie Hanor. It is scheduled to reopen Sept 12.
The building and its interior have been around since 1925. After so many years, coupled with the earthquakes that the area of Oakland experiences, stone structures within the building were beginning to crack and separate from the walls, presenting a safety hazard, Hanor said.
The retro-fit, which has cost the school $175 thousand according to Associate Vice President for Operations Linda Zitzner, is designed to combat this separation by temporarily supporting, i.e. “shoring,” the large stone face above the back archway of the gallery. Hanor said this involves removing the stones on either side, building and installing a ladder-type structure called a steel armature and then securing the stones to the armature, which will then safely hold the stones in place.
“The work insures the longevity of the structure, makes the area safe for the museum’s staff and visitors and helps preserve the historic integrity and aesthetics of the building,” Hanor said.
Once completed, the goal is that no one will be able to tell that the building has been refurbished,
“It’s wonderful that the Mills administration is so committed to preserving this building and others like it,” she said.