The museum has raised more than $46 million toward its $50 million goal, deemed necessary to fund the construction project and also to create a $20 million endowment that will pay for future operations. For the past 32 years, the nonprofit organization has operated out of a converted hydroelectric plant building adjacent to the Roaring Fork River on North Mill Street. That building, which the city owns and leases to the museum, is a historic structure.

ASPEN REAL ESTATE — The Aspen Art Museum project moved a step closer to reality Tuesday with a ceremonial groundbreaking at the future construction site on the corner of South Spring Street and East Hyman Avenue, formerly the home of the Wienerstube restaurant.Plans call for a 30,000-square-foot, three-story structure with 12,500 square feet of exhibition space and a façade of wood and glass. …The project’s lead architect is Japanese native Shigeru Ban, known for his innovative approaches to environmentally sound architecture, as well as his devotion to humanitarian efforts in the wake of recent natural and manmade disasters in New Orleans, Haiti, New Zealand and Japan… A partially enclosed sculpture garden will sit atop the roof of the main building, affording open-air views of Aspen Mountain and the city’s commercial core. The partial roof will cover the deck about 45 feet above the ground. Construction will cost an estimated $30 million and could possibly begin this fall. However, a spring 2012 start is more likely because designs and building plans aren’t completely finished, museum communications director Jeff Murcko said.
By Andre Salvail, August, 17 2011 AT

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See also: "Aspen Art Museum Breaks Ground and Closes Land Sale", ADN

Schematic drawing of proposed new Aspen Art Museum from