BRA board approves MGH Museum & History Center

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) board of directors unanimously approved the proposed $8.25 million Massachusetts General Hospital Museum & History Center last week.

The 8,000 square-foot, two story building will feature a rooftop terrace and be located at the corner of Cambridge and North Grove streets, adjacent to the Resident Physician’s House. The space will be dedicated to museum exhibitions, and also used for accommodating occasional lectures, seminars and receptions.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, with an expected completion date of the fourth quarter of 2011 to mark the hospital’s 200th anniversary.

“It will be a nice way to celebrate 200 years in the city, and to educate people about the hospital’s history,” BRA spokesperson Jessica Shumaker said.

MGH Interim Museum Director Peter Johnson points out that the new space won’t be used solely to showcase hospital relics.

“The idea for the museum is to do much more than present historic artifacts,” Johnson said. “Instead, we’ll connect these artifacts to what’s going on at the hospital now.”

MGH Project Manager Hubert Murray added, “It’s a real opportunity to explain the complexities of modern medicine to an interested public.”

Hospital officials said the building is also designed as a new gateway to Cambridge Street, as well as to the MGH campus.

“The museum will be a recognizable building that will fulfill the role of being a portal to the campus,” Hubert said.

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