From the NY Times:
When the Queens Museum of Art announced plans for a renovation in 2006, it joined a building boom in which cultural institutions all over the country were adding wings by name-brand architects, seeking their own Bilbaos. And when the recession of 2008 forced many of those institutions to pull back — worried about whether they needed and could support larger physical plants — the Queens Museum persevered.
The road wasn’t easy; the project was ambitious and took seven years instead of the three originally announced. The budget ballooned to $68 million from $37 million. And though the renovation is now about to be completed — a reopening is planned for early November — the hard part is still ahead: with the new building expected to add $1 million to the $4 million annual operating budget, as well as six new full-time positions, will the institution be able to support this larger operation? And, more basically: now that they’ve built it, will people come?
The building became a museum in 1972, though physically it was never ideal. Its western facade, which faces the Grand Central Parkway, was opaque and forbidding and, over the years, became obscured by plants and fencing. “You couldn’t even see the building,” said Mark Husser, Grimshaw’s principal architect on the project.
When they say "plants" they really mean "trees" - dozens of which were removed for this project. Add these to the ones that will be sacrificed for the USTA expansion, and we've lost a small forest.
Even if people’s ultimate destination is the park, to play soccer, Mr. Finkelpearl said, he hopes they stop at the museum just to use the bathroom or get a drink — and maybe they’ll decide to catch an art exhibition while they’re there. (Suggested admission is $8; $4 for students and older visitors.)
Yes, let's bank on that. And this, my friends, is why the Queens Museum is generally thought of as a joke.