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Philadelphia Museum of Art

Formerly: The Philadelphia Museum
Built: 1919-1928
Designed by: Horace Trumbauer and Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary
Type: Museum
Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, United States
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F ounded in 1876, the Philadelphia Museum of Art was originally located in Memorial Hall. It was constructed at a time after the Civil War when many northern cities went on museum building sprees. The Memorial Hall location was adequate, but isolated from the bulk of the city. A new building was constructed covering ten acres of ground. It fašade is made of Minnesota dolomite. The sculptures on its north side depict Greek gods and goddesses. Together they are 70-feet wide and 12 feet tall. Looking up there is also a collection of griffins, which were adopted as the symbol of the museum in the 1970's. The structure opened in 1928 to the jeers of the public who derided it as a "Greek garage." The Philadelphia Museum of Art rests on a former reservoir. Even though the museum didn't officially open until 1928, temporary galleries were erected in 1924 to showcase collections donated by important benefactors.

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