Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Philadelphia, PA

Phases I-VII
Project Type: Historic Preservation and Interior Renovation
Total Project Cost: $60 Million
Project Size: 250,000 square feet
Architect: Saylor Gregg Architects
Builders: Shoemaker (Phases I & II),
C. Erickson & Sons (Phases III-VII)

Phase VIII
Project Type: Major Streetscape Enhancement
Lenfest Plaza & Paint Torch: $5.5 Million
Artist: Claes Oldenburg
Architect: Saylor Gregg Architects
Landscape Architect: The Olin Studio
Builder: Intech Construction
Rigger: George Young Company

  • Image of 53-foot-tall pop sculpture of a paintbrush and a glob of paint by artist Claes Olderburg that sits on PAFA's campus along Broad Street in Philadelphia

    Paint Torch by pop artist Claes Oldenburg marks the entrance to Lenfest Plaza at PAFA

  • pop sculpture of 53 foot high paint torch by Claes Oldenburg lit with LED lights inside head of paintbrush and inside glob of paint with city hall in background

We can help realize a grand vision one strategic step at a time.

Hamilton Building Phased Renovation and Lenfest Plaza

When the initial plans for the renovation of the Hamilton Building exceeded the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts’s budget, Becker & Frondorf worked with the institution to plan and then execute the renovation program in seven strategic phases. The completed facility houses exhibition space, collection management facilities, classrooms, painting and sculpture studios, printing labs, a foundry, a library, and administrative spaces. The meticulous renovation of the exterior had to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Properties while still meeting PAFA’s budget.

The project culminated in the construction of Lenfest Plaza, a new public park in the former Cherry Street. To create a focal point for the Plaza, PAFA selected famed Pop Artist Claes Oldenburg to create Paint Torch, a monumental public sculpture. Lenfest Plaza links the renovated Hamilton Building with the historic Furness Building dramatically unifying PAFA’s campus.

Claes Oldenburg
Paint Torch, 2011
Steel, fiberglass reinforced plastic, gelcoat, polyurethane, LED lighting
Height from ground: 50’11”; Total length of work: 53’ 9/16”; Handle to Glob distance: 14’ 4 7/8”; Glob height: 5’ 11 ¾”; Glob diameter: 6’ ¾”
Collection Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Photo credit: Attilio Maranzano
Photo courtesy the Oldenburg van Bruggen Studio
Copyright 2011 Claes Oldenburg