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EdmontonInfo
15-04-2008, 08:47 AM
Museum lands monster show

City is third stop for global exhibit


Paula Simons, The Edmonton Journal

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=fb7c1964-8aa8-48dd-a2ea-f94a71f9f576

Published: 3:02 am Tuesday April 15 2008


I don't wish to alarm you. But dragons are coming.
Hundreds of scaly, ferocious fire-breathing monsters are winging their way here from as far as China and Korea and France and Mexico.


The invasion is imminent. They land June 14, with plans to take over our city from their command post on the bank of the North Saskatchewan, in the heart of elegant Old Glenora.

newfangled
15-04-2008, 09:09 AM
Good on the RAM for picking itself up and dusting itself off after the kicking it's gotten.

And Good on Paula for this:


For the RAM, bringing Dragons to Edmonton was a coup -- and a big morale booster. By now the museum was supposed to be closed, with renovations on a planned $200-million expansion well underway. Instead, those renovations have been placed on what you might call permanent temporary hold.

Rumour has it the province now favours an absurdly expensive plan to create two museums -- a renovated natural history and science museum at the current RAM site, and a new social history museum at the legislature grounds, near the old Terrace Building site. The estimated price tag for this new "double-vision"? The number floating around is an eye-popping $1.4 billion -- which, if true, may make the project as mythical and fantastical as the dragon itself.

I really hope that we in Edmonton don't let the RAM issue die.

RichardS
15-04-2008, 10:18 AM
Absurdly expensive? On one hand we complain that we don't get enough funding and provincial stuff, yet when the potential for 2 sites comes about, we complain about that? Let's see what comes about.

Edmonton, City of Champions in shooting off our nose to spite our face.

newfangled
15-04-2008, 10:26 AM
Richard, their eyes bugged out at $250M, and that led to the limbo that we're in.

Paula's right on this. If we can't even afford to build one parkade at the RAM, then we're certainly not going to be able to afford two. Same thing goes for building two world-class museums.

DanC
15-04-2008, 11:34 AM
Build the two.
I don't know how it makes sense that there is 1.4 billion to be spent on the idea, and 250 million was too much for a RAM reno, but give me the two.

etownboarder
15-04-2008, 11:40 AM
Why would anyone suggest a 1.4B dollar project when they said they couldn't afford the 200M dollar project. What a joke... the provincial government has only made themselves look dumber than they did the first time around. How embarrassing for them.

Edmontonfan
15-04-2008, 02:19 PM
Kudos to the Royal Alberta Museum (Edmonton). I'm sure this will be a great show and generate plenty of positives for the city. Having the "big race" on during this period is yet another example of the big city mindset that we have here:)

booster
15-04-2008, 03:00 PM
I agree with Dan C. Build the 2. Heck the $1.4 billion probably includes getting rid of the Terrace Building and putting a cover over River Valley Road so the Leg grounds are then connected directly with the river valley.

Now has it been confirmed that the province is planning on two sites? This is the first I had heard of doing both although before there was talk of closing RAM and opening a new one at the Leg. Wait a minute. The throne speech is today. Hmmmmmmmmmm!

On a tangent although connected. Can you imagine our city in 5 years if this occurred, Portrait gallery, North Edge builds, Quarters becomes wildly popular and built up, Louise McKinney becomes complete, and LRT is spread or being built out N, W and maybe SE. And then 4 years after that a possible Expo. Lets run with it. I like where things are pointing to. Oh yeah, and close the MUNI!

etownboarder
15-04-2008, 03:50 PM
I'll only support the idea if the government does it properly... and considering past action in regards to the RAM, I don't see that happening. PROVE ME WRONG STELMACH, PROVE ME WRONG!!!

newfangled
15-04-2008, 03:57 PM
^ Pretty much.

I wonder how many "perfect" sites there are in Calgary for a South RAM?

Because once we open ourselves up to the idea of creating two museums, doesn't it make sense to ask "Why should they both be in Edmonton?"

Maybe we should have an open competition for the second RAM, like what's happening with the portrait gallery.

Hmmm.

etownboarder
15-04-2008, 04:13 PM
^ Pretty much.

I wonder how many "perfect" sites there are in Calgary for a South RAM?

Because once we open ourselves up to the idea of creating two museums, doesn't it make sense to ask "Why should they both be in Edmonton?"

Maybe we should have an open competition for the second RAM, like what's happening with the portrait gallery.

Hmmm.

Hmmm, let's just make sure that the RAM is finished properly first before we start planning any other competitions for another museum/gallery.

Sonic Death Monkey
15-04-2008, 05:12 PM
I sorta kinda agree with both of you. Let's start over again with building one beautiful RAM, but open it up to a design competition as with the AGA.

RichardS
15-04-2008, 06:41 PM
Everyone sees doubt. I see that there is even MENTION of spending 1.4B on a museum as a move forward.

Folks, there is a new administration in town. I'm chosing to see the positive in even the rumor of spending more on one, two, or 3 buildings. At least the talk is better than a hell no to spending anything, and we get a HallD museum.

newfangled
15-04-2008, 07:13 PM
Where are you seeing this, Richard?

Because I see a $200M plan that got quashed for costing too much.

Followed by the typical second-guessing "Maybe we should do this. No my idea's better. Well, I want a pony."

And after that we've ended up with a completely WAG magical number of $1.4B for the alternate idea. And an idea is all it is - it's not a plan or a concept or a design or even scratchings on a napkin.

And I don't see anyone mentioning actually spending money on that $1.4B idea. I just see an astronomical number that will be used as a roadblock and that will probably mean that this never moves forward.

RTA
15-04-2008, 09:00 PM
^ That's exactly how I'm feeling about this, newf. 200M was too much to bring our Royal Museum into the present age, and that flip flopped and got scrapped, and another study was commissioned to look into a smaller scale upgrade. That seems to have quietly died, but not before there was a "clamouring" for a SHINY NEW RAM which should be built at the Legislature grounds and would have cost triple the original 200M, if not more.

...and NOW we have this? A 1.4B concept that includes renovations AND building a SECOND museum?

How is it that we keep getting all these "wonderful" new ideas pushed at us, costing increasingly more with each iteration, when it seems to me that the original plan - and to date still the best one - was scrapped because IT COST TOO MUCH.

Please forgive me for quoting a Ben Stiller movie, but I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. Am I the only one who sees the scope of the absurdity in this? I can't even figure out a conspiracy theory that could explain this.

etownboarder
15-04-2008, 09:47 PM
I know how to explain it... tell Albertans that you're going to spend 1.4B on a cultural institution and it'll get shot down faster than you can say BINGO.

RichardS
15-04-2008, 09:48 PM
Bingo...

I'm just trying to give this version a chance before we pull a typical Edmonton and think no good can come of anyone in government. The folks that canned the RAM have retired if I recall correctly. New helmsmen on the bridge, even if they work for the same company.

Yes, 1.4B is probably NOT going to happen. However, depending on traction, we may get at least what we had before back.

But then I guess it just won't be good enough.

MylesC
15-04-2008, 10:37 PM
Now, it's been a while since I talked to my caucus connections...

But from what I heard it's not that the 200 million was shot down as being too expensive. More that the idea of doing something in conjunction with revitalizing the Legislature preceint came onto the table so the 200 million was seen as too much for a singular building renovation.

If indeed the museum gets split in two, I think it would be a fabulous thing. We definitely have the resources and collections in storage to pull it off. Heck, we have the collections to do a third City of Edmonton museum quite easily.

Yet if this ends up being a, oh, alright, we won't spend 1.4 Billion, back to, let's say half a billion, then fine. The end results must be that something gets done.

newfangled
15-04-2008, 11:36 PM
^ except that that 200M was only for the first phase. There was another $200M (ish) needed for the second phase. So it's not like the scale of this came as a surprise to the government. And the fact that it all came down to parking? This has never made sense.

And even if this does gets tied into a Leg grounds reno, where does that leave the existing building and why does it prevent the expansion of the existing building (which has been designed) from proceeding? If we've got $1.4B to burn, then let's go already.

And I still think that as soon we start hinting at having multiple Royal Alberta Museums, then we're opening up the floor to the idea of locating one of those museums outside of Edmonton.

2009
"Alberta Provincial Government declares plans to build second Royal Alberta Museum"

2014
"Demolition of Terrace Building on Hold - New Sites Sought for RAM"

2015
"Calgary Chosen as Site of $1B RAM South. Edmonton museum 'Still In Fine Shape' says Premier"

Please tell me that's not going to happen, folks. :rolleyes:

(and admittedly the Calgary thing might be a worst-case scenario conspiracy theory. But we're talking something that could be well underway right now vs. something that might not even start for another five years. How many variables could change in that time (including the giant Calgary-pout) to mess things up? It feels like a bait-and-switch to me, and I don't think Edmonton is likely to benefit from it).

etownboarder
15-04-2008, 11:54 PM
^ except that that 200M was only for the first phase. There was another $200M (ish) needed for the second phase. So it's not like the scale of this came as a surprise to the government. And the fact that it all came down to parking? This has never made sense.

And even if this does gets tied into a Leg grounds reno, where does that leave the existing building and why does it prevent the expansion of the existing building (which has been designed) from proceeding? If we've got $1.4B to burn, then let's go already.

And I still think that as soon we start hinting at having multiple Royal Alberta Museums, then we're opening up the floor to the idea of locating one of those museums outside of Edmonton.

2009
"Alberta Provincial Government declares plans to build second Royal Alberta Museum"

2014
"Demolition of Terrace Building on Hold - New Sites Sought for RAM"

2015
"Calgary Chosen as Site of $1B RAM South. Edmonton museum 'Still In Fine Shape' says Premier"

Please tell me that's not going to happen, folks. :rolleyes:

(and admittedly the Calgary thing might be a worst-case scenario conspiracy theory. But we're talking something that could be well underway right now vs. something that might not even start for another five years. How many variables could change in that time (including the giant Calgary-pout) to mess things up? It feels like a bait-and-switch to me, and I don't think Edmonton is likely to benefit from it).

If that happens, then I'll have lost all faith in our government. It will seriously make me cry.

Sonic Death Monkey
16-04-2008, 12:11 AM
Isn't the royal patronage contingent upon a renovation? Thought I read this somewhere.

Sonic Death Monkey
17-04-2008, 09:49 AM
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Columnists/Hicks_Graham/2008/04/17/5309741-sun.html



MUSEUM DECISION NOT FAR AWAY
Good news filtering out from the inner circles of cabinet.

A decision, a binding decision, is expected on the Royal Alberta Museum within the next three to four months.

Four options are on the table. All include some variation on rebuilding the museum on its current site.

1. Rebuild the museum as first proposed, with all the bells, the whistles, great halls, grand vistas and underground parking. The project was ready to go when the province freaked over construction costs.

2. The economy model, a stripped-down rebuild on the same site.

3. A full rebuild, plus a new satellite museum on the legislature grounds overlooking the river valley on the site of the to-be-demolished Terrace Building.

4. A rebuild of the museum on its current site, plus a new museum-like building to replace the Terrace, some kind of showcase for all major provincial museums, cultural, historic and natural attractions.

With a northern Alberta premier, with Edmonton delivering 13 of 18 seats to the Tories, with the idea Edmonton deserves to look like the capital of Canada's most prosperous province, Steady Eddie Stelmach and his gang might put serious dough ($500 million to $900 million, spread out) into options three or four.

One favour, Ed. Once a decision is made ... carry it out.

newfangled
17-04-2008, 10:19 AM
Looks good. Can't wait to see how the decision (please make a decision) turns out.

RTA
17-04-2008, 10:34 AM
I know this is from the Sun, but I agree with the implication here:

"Thanks, Edmonton, for voting in an overwhelming PC majority. As a reward, here's the RAM renovation we have been withholding to see how blue you can be."

But I'm just bitching. I'll be very, very happy to see #1 happen, but would also settle for #3 or even #4.

grish
17-04-2008, 10:45 AM
I am torn between number 2 and number 4. I think I will go with 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DanC
17-04-2008, 07:41 PM
Number 4, Thanks!