James A. Michener Museum of Art

  • Master Plan
  • Doylestown, PA
  • 2006


As one of the great regional museums, the Michener has drawn acclaim for innovative programs and their strong collections.  Located within the walls of an historic prison, the growth of the Michener needed a master plan to focus on a sustainable and phased approach.




By working with museum leadership, priorities for new galleries, auditorium, event space and collections support space emerged.  Through a series of mappings of physical conditions, challenges with the visitor flow, (specifically accessing program areas through galleries, poor access to lower level galleries) and other museum zoning/movement issues emerged as important problems to be solved.


New diagrams revealed the opportunity to segregate galleries and all other program areas into separate wings off the historic lobby core, enabling galleries to be arranged as a loop and to be closed off in the evenings.  The lower level was ‘repurposed’ as a collections study and open storage environment.  This ‘separation’ also enabled simplification of building systems, and more easily phased construction to minimize disruption.  Current construction in 2013 will complete the vision of the master plan with improved visitor experience.

Led by Walt Crimm while Director of EwingCole Cultural Practice