Thursday, May 24, 2018
News Roundup

Arts collector plans 90,000-square foot museum for downtown St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — Against the backdrop of craftsman homes in the historic neighborhoods of Kenwood, Roser Park and the Old Northeast, an enthusiast of the arts and crafts movement has chosen St. Petersburg to build a museum to house his $60 million collection from the period.

Rudy Ciccarello plans to establish his Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement at 333 Third Ave. N, in the city's downtown. The 90,000-square foot, four-story facility will include galleries, a cafe, restaurant, store and studios.

The museum will be the permanent home of Ciccarello's 1,200 pieces that include furniture, pottery and tiles from a period that ran from about 1900 to 1920.

"It's a great collection and it will draw people from all over the country," said Jeff Schorr, who spent more than two years restoring the bungalow that's home to his Craftsman House, a combination gallery, cafe and studio on Central Avenue.

"Having a museum of this caliber in St. Petersburg would only add to the city's growing reputation as a top arts and tourism destination," Elizabeth Brincklow, manager of the city's office of arts and international relations, said. "While St. Petersburg is well represented in the fine arts world, the addition of a major museum showcasing the arts and crafts movement would be a major coup for the city's arts community."

Ciccarello, 67, had once set his sights on Tampa, hoping to build a museum and upscale restaurant at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. He broke off negotiations about a year ago when he couldn't get a five-year commitment of financial support from City Hall.

Ciccarello said he wanted the museum in the Tampa Bay area and determined that St. Petersburg was an ideal location.

"One chief reason is that for the past three years, St. Petersburg has been in the top spot as the number one arts destination in the U.S. among mid-sized cities," he wrote in an email.

The new museum will be designed by Tampa architect Alberto Alfonso, who also designed the space for the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg. The site is being bought from Synovus Bank, which will be its neighbor. The museum's architecture will not be reminiscent of the arts and crafts movement.

"Our position on this is that this is a building that is a container for art, and I think there are many models of museums around the world that hold collections that do not mimic the art that is held in them," Alfonso said. "We wanted to do a strong building of our time and not get stuck in stylistic trappings."

Construction costs will be "in excess of" $35 million, Ciccarello said, who added he is prepared to support the endeavor financially.

"However, I hope to attract grants and donations to develop a state-of-the-art audio/visual educational system, as well as the construction of workshops dedicated to the learning and practice of various crafts, including pottery, woodblocks and photography," he said. "Support will also be sought to create several educational and entertainment programs for area children."

In 2004, Ciccarello, the founder of Florida Infusion Services, a distributor of drugs and medical supplies, established a foundation focused on the arts and crafts movement. The Two Red Roses Foundation is described as a nonprofit, educational institution "dedicated to the acquisition, restoration, and public exhibition of important examples" from the movement. The collection he has endowed the museum "is considered by experts in the field to be the most extensive in America," Ciccarello said.

The project is expected to go before the city's development review commission in December. The museum is projected to be complete by 2016.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2283.

Comments
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 3 hours ago
‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

TAMPA — Nick Genovese was anxious.The 21-year-old from Land O’Lakes had come to Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena hoping to see the Tampa Bay Lightning triumph over the Washington Capitals in Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference winner-take-all Game...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

TAMPA — Yanni Gourde said he will have to see a replay to know just how it got away, but even in a lopsided 4-0 loss like Wednesday night, he'll remember the puck in front of an empty net, and the missed opportunity that encapsulated a frustrat...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

TAMPA — This one stings. And it will ache for a long time. Maybe forever in these parts.Another chance for a Stanley Cup. Another disappointment. As the Lightning skated off the ice after losing Wednesday night's Game 7 of the Eastern Conferenc...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Woman hit, killed while crossing road in Tampa

TAMPA — A pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing N 40th Street near E Hanlon Street on Wednesday night, according to Tampa police.The crash took place just before 8 p.m. The driver was heading north on 40th Street before strikin...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

After a prominent Hillsborough County developer died last month in North Carolina, word spread it was a heart attack that claimed his life.But records from that state show the death of William "Bill" Bishop was much more complicated.His 16-year-old s...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

TAMPA — Forget Vegas.The Lightning have left the building.No more season. No more watch parties. No more anything.There is no way around it. Jon Cooper's team couldn't finish, not in Game 7 at home, not in the Eastern Conference final...
Updated: 4 hours ago