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January 14, 2013

University Circle Institutions Unite To Advance Area's Unique Cultural and Academic Character

For more information, please contact:
Susan Iler, Cleveland Institute of Art

Elizabeth Bolander, Cleveland Museum of Art

Bill Lubinger, Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland Institute of Art Sells East Boulevard Property to Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art

CLEVELAND (January 14, 2013) – Three University Circle institutions have come together in a transaction that enables one to advance its existing aspirations and the others to preserve future opportunities.

In a joint announcement, the leaders of the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art announced the sale of the college’s property on East Boulevard to the university and museum. The sale will allow the college to fulfill its goal of unifying its campus on Euclid Avenue through construction of a new building adjoining the Joseph McCullough Center for the Arts.

“This transaction is a marvelous manifestation of the increasing collaboration we are experiencing with our University Circle partners and represents an important milestone in unifying our campus,” said Grafton J. Nunes, CIA’s President and CEO.

The 4.13-acre parcel sits at the corner of East Boulevard and Bellflower Road, and faces the museum immediately to the west and the university to the south. CIA plans to vacate the structure on the site, the George Gund building, once it completes a new structure adjoined to the McCullough space. Construction is expected to begin by the middle of this year, and Nunes expects that process to take about 18 months. The leaders of the museum and university have not yet developed specific plans for the acquisition.

“When the Cleveland Institute of Art made us aware of this opportunity, we were very excited about the possibilities that this prime location offered us,” said David Franklin, the Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. “It is real estate that both the museum and university can benefit from, and we’re looking forward to working together to use this land to further our missions.”

Added Barbara R. Snyder, President of Case Western Reserve: “We already have powerful partnerships with the Cleveland Museum of Art, and this property provides a new opportunity to explore potential synergies. We also are pleased that our ability to work cooperatively provided a result that benefits all three organizations.”

The purchase agreement among the three organizations calls for closing on the parcel to take place in 2015. The purchase price is $9.2 million.

Meanwhile CIA’s Nunes looks forward to the college’s first single campus in more than three decades. In 2009, CIA initiated a two-phase campus modernization and unification project, with Phase I the McCullough renovation and Phase II the new building.

Like the East Boulevard building, the new CIA building also will be named for George Gund II, the former chairman of the Cleveland Trust Co., who served as CIA board president from 1942-1966. The naming is in recognition of $5 million in grants from the George Gund Foundation, and a combined $5 million in gifts from Gund family members. In recognition of a $5 million commitment to the campus project, the auditorium in the new Gund building will be named for philanthropist and insurance executive Peter B. Lewis. The Peter B. Lewis Theater will be the new home of the acclaimed CIA Cinematheque.

In addition, CIA will open a new Euclid Avenue student residence hall in August 2014, as part of Phase II of the Uptown Project.

“At a time when our enrollment continues to increase,” Nunes said, “we look forward to completing a campus redesign that will serve us well for decades to come and add a vibrant student component to the Uptown District.”

Case Western Reserve and the Cleveland Museum of Art are partners on several endeavors. One of the most successful of the shared initiatives is a joint doctoral program in art history. Dating back to 1967, the joint effort recently received a significant new endorsement: the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded two grants totaling $500,000 to support a re-imagining of the academic offerings to convey the knowledge and skills required for 21stcentury curators. Many classes are held at the museum, where students have access to the comprehensive permanent collection, and students enjoy access to the museum’s Ingalls Library and Archives, the third-largest art research library in the United States, as well as to the resources of Case Western Reserve’s Kelvin Smith Library.

Today Case Western Reserve is completing its $50 million Tinkham Veale University Center, located across Bellflower Road from the newly acquired site. In addition, the university is amid fundraising for two additional major capital projects, the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple – Tifereth Israel, and a new medical education and research building for the 24th-ranked School of Medicine.

At the same time, the Cleveland Museum of Art is on pace to complete its renovation and expansion project at the end of 2013. It recently celebrated the opening of the stunning Ames Family Atrium, new dining facilities, museum store and galleries featuring work from the Late Medieval, Renaissance and Islamic collections.


About The Cleveland Institute of Art
Founded in 1882, the Cleveland Institute of Art is an accredited, independent college of art and design committed to nurturing the intellectual, artistic and professional development of students and community members through rigorous visual arts and design education. The college offers 16 undergraduate majors and extends its programs to the public through gallery exhibitions; lectures; a continuing education program; and the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, a nationally acclaimed art and independent film program. Visit to learn more about our majors and public programming.

Cleveland Institute of Art is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

About Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is one of the country's leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 4,200 undergraduate and 5,600 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.

About the Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes almost 45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing an ambitious, multi-phase renovation and expansion project across its campus, the museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. One of the top five comprehensive art museums in the nation, and the only one that is free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. The museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Additional support comes from the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information about the museum, its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit

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