Supporters and staff of The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art and Florida State University gathered Wednesday morning, April 20, for the groundbreaking of the Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion, set to open on the Ringling grounds in the fall of 2017.
Museum executive director Steven High introduced FSU President John Thrasher, who called the project “a major, major milestone” for both the university and the museum. He also thanked major donors (and longtime glass collectors) Phil and Nancy Kotler and Warren and Margot Coville for their generosity, along with others who have been instrumental in the push to get the new pavilion, which will house the museum’s growing permanent collection of American and European studio glass, off the ground.
The 5,500-square-foot pavilion, which will be constructed adjacent to the John M. McKay Visitors Pavilion, is designed by the architectural firm Lewis + Whitlock, which has worked with FSU several times on other projects. The building will use glass as a principal material and will also include dressing room spaces for performers at the Historic Asolo Theater and a rehearsal room on the second floor.
The Kotlers and Covilles used decorated shovels to move some carefully placed sand (an ingredient in the glass making process) in lieu of the traditional moving of earth for a groundbreaking. Take a peek at the renderings here.