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Photo: Connie Kang / The Daily Pennsylvanian

The Philadelphia Museum of Art broke ground yesterday on a massive expansion project.

The renovation, called the Core Project, is a $196 million endeavor, and will be the museum’s most extensive renovation yet.

World-renowned architect Frank Gehry leads the project, which entails an additional 11,500-square-feet of exhibition space and 67,000 square-feet of new public space, including a bar, a restaurant and “the Forum,” a two-story public spot.

Nevertheless, Gehry’s design aims to honor the historic charm of the museum out of respect for the original “incredible architectural legacy,” he told 6abc.

"The space where we stand today will be reopened to the public for the first time in over 50 years. A generation of Philadelphians will be able to enjoy this architectural treasure,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who was present at groundbreaking, said to 6ABC.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art says that galleries will remain “open and accessible” throughout construction.

The Core Project’s expected year of completion is 2020.  

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