Construction Update

Over the coming months and year ahead, the Brandywine Museum of Art is undergoing several renovation projects to improve the visitor experience, including creating more spaces where the public can gather. During this time, there will be ongoing construction activity in and surrounding the Museum’s courtyard and perimeter, including the walkway leading up to the existing courtyard entrance gates, as well as the inside of the Museum building. We appreciate your patience as we undergo this disruptive, but vital work. 

As you’ll recall, our former lecture room, educational classroom, ADA-accessible entrance and several accessible restrooms—all on the lower level below our first-floor gallery, lobby, and Café—were heavily damaged by the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Ida in 2021, including critical mechanical systems that have since been replaced and relocated to higher ground above the flood level. This significant loss of public space has severely impacted Brandywine’s capacity to host in-person lectures, educational programs, and special events. 

Rendering of the inside of the courtyard with people enjoying the space.
Rendering by Cooper Robertson and OLIN

To replace these lost functions, the Museum has been working simultaneously on several projects. One is a complete renovation of our courtyard space designed by Cooper Robertson, a New York-based architectural firm, in cooperation with Tevebaugh Architecture, that will include new, level paving (our beloved Belgian block stones will be retained for later use) which will more easily and flexibly accommodate educational programs, special events, and rental opportunities. The courtyard will also be larger and feature integrated lighting for evening events, native plantings—designed by Olin, a Philadelphia-based landscape architectural firm—and a new permanent ADA entrance ramp that will provide greater accessibility to all our visitors and, from a standpoint of design, be more harmonious to the Mill building. 

We look forward to reopening the courtyard in summer 2024 and seeing it come alive with educational programs and special events. 

Rendering of the inside of the courtyard with people enjoying the space.
Rendering by Cooper Robertson and OLIN

Recently Finished . . . 

Inside the Museum, an accessible family restroom has been added to the first floor, near the Millstone Café, which replaces one of the restrooms that were destroyed on our lower level during the flood. We also just finished a state-of-the-art multi-purpose room on the second floor of the Museum—created out of former office spaces—that features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Brandywine Creek. This beautiful new space is able to welcome over 100 people for a variety of uses, including lectures, art activities, and special performances. 

Coming Up Next . . .

On a longer timetable, we will also be undertaking what is called a flood-hardening process to make the lower level of the Museum watertight. In this complex engineering procedure, openings of any kind, including windows, doors, and vents will be removed; structural reinforcement and waterproof material will be applied to the building interior to withstand the pressure from future flood waters; and the foundation anchored to resist buoyancy. All of this work is vital in ensuring that the Museum will be better prepared for more frequent and severe floods in the years ahead, so that we can remain focused on safeguarding our renowned collection and creating the highest-possible visitor experience.  

Stay tuned for more details on these and other exciting projects to come!

How to enter the Museum during construction:

Map of Brandywine campus

Courtyard Design Team:

Cooper Robertson: Design Architect
OLIN: Landscape Architect
Tevebaugh Architecture: Architect of Record

Construction Manager: