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The New Brunswick Museum building on Douglas Avenue in Saint John. Image: Submitted

Location of revitalized New Brunswick Museum announced

By Brad Perry Jul 21, 2023 | 2:20 PM

The revitalized New Brunswick Museum will be located in its original home on Douglas Avenue in Saint John.

Officials with the museum made the long-awaited announcement in a news release on Friday afternoon.

Dr. Kathryn Hamer, chair of the museum’s board, said they are satisfied with the location selection.

“It is a location that is rich in historical significance,” Hamer said in the news release.

Officials said they will incorporate a new design with the nearly century-old facility, which will be upgraded and preserved. In addition, Hamer said the plan will avoid any impact to the nearby Riverview Memorial Park.

A number of nearby homes will be torn down to make way for the expanded museum, which will also include off-street parking.

Saint John Mayor Donna Reardon said this investment will help spur additional development in the area, while maintaining links to the uptown and Fort La Tour via Harbour Passage.

“We are happy to see this important project take such a significant step to move forward,” Reardon said in the release.

The next phase will involve building design, planning and costing for the location, officials said. A series of soon-to-be-announced public engagement sessions are also being planned around the province.

“The building will be designed with community input, so it connects not just to the landscape, but to the people – past and present – who use it,” said Donald Schmitt of Diamond Schmitt Architects. “The revitalized NBM will aim to reflect the stories and histories of the people of New Brunswick, as told by their descendants.”

Last fall, the New Brunswick Museum permanently closed its exhibition centre in Saint John’s Market Square.

It had been closed for the better part of two years — first due to COVID-19, then due to required building repairs as a result of leaks.

An interim collections and research centre is being prepared to house the museum’s collections and research activities while a permanent exhibition and collections facility is constructed in Saint John.

In March, the city’s Planning Advisory Committee signed off on a temporary use approval allowing for the museum to use a warehouse-style facility at 228 Lancaster Avenue as an interim space for its collections facility.

“It is anticipated that the collections facility will occupy the space for upwards of seven years, during which time a permanent collections centre will be developed,” said a staff report to council.

But officials with the New Brunswick Museum hope the new facility will be open much sooner than that.

Hamer said in a recent interview that they have an “ambitious timeline” to have the museum completed and open to the public in the first quarter of 2026.

“As our experience over the pandemic years has demonstrated, construction delays are not unexpected and not unusual. But at this point, that’s what we’re shooting for,” said Hamer.

The New Brunswick Museum is pleased to announce that it is moving forward with its facilities renewal project at its…

Posted by New Brunswick Museum – Musée du Nouveau-Brunswick on Friday, July 21, 2023


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