A week after President Bok announced he would approve plans to build a $16.5 million extension to the Fogg Art Museum if its supporters raised $3 million by March 15, the museum's visiting committee has raised close to $2 million of the $3 million Bok requires to give the project the go-ahead. Fogg officials said yesterday.
Visiting Committee Chairman Charles C. Cunningham Jr. '56 called the past week's fundraising "nothing short of phenomenal," and said he expected to meet the March 15 deadline.
Cunningham would not name an exact figure, but said the committee was "certainly comfortably beyond" the $1.5 million it had raised as of last week.
Bok cancelled plans for the proposed addition February 1, explaining that the new museum's financing was inadequate, but reversed his decision last week in the wake of protest from Fogg contributors and Fine Arts faculty members. Supporters of the museum said Bok's move would jeopardize the museum's position as the nation's leading teaching institution in the fine arts and hinder further fundraising efforts for both the Fogg and the University.
The new financial scheme, which visiting committee members proposed to Bok before a special February 20 meeting, calls for the museum to raise $3 million by March 13, and an additional $3 million fund over the next three years.
The initial $3 million will go to a "stabilization fund" to defray potential operating and maintenance cost overruns. The $3 million to the raised by 1984 will serve as an unrestricted, all purpose fund for the new museum.
"We're tremendously encouraged," Fogg director Seymour Slive said last of current fundraising efforts who has already raised more than $20 millions for the Fogg over the past three years, said he spent the weekend in New York City "trying to find potential new sources and make some new friends" for the museum.
Meanwhile, preliminary discussions of the museum's construction details are already underway. British architect James Stirling, who designed the proposed addition, said last week he was "delighted" with Bok's decision, and that he would probably come to Cambridge some time in the next two weeks "to tie up loose ends with all parties concerned." Stirling said he did not anticipate making any major structural changes in the museum's design but may change a few details.
Slive met with Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci about 10 days ago to discuss city approval of a proposed bridge to link the new museum and the present Fogg building Museum officials said the bridge would make it easier to move artworks between the two buildings and improve museum security
Vellucci, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, has said that he doesn't know whether he will approve the connector. But Slive said yesterday that the proposed addition is feasible without it, adding that a final decision on the bridge will not come until construction begins
If the committee meets the March 15 deadline, construction on the building could start in April or May, Oleg Grabar, chairman of the Fine Arts Department, said last wee