The Walker Without Walls

Or at least office furniture and ugly Teflon exterior

The new Walker Art Center opens April 17, and if the opening were anything like Star Wars, we'd be setting up camp outside the steel cube for three weeks. Not only to be the first to check out the expanded exhibit space (10.000 square feet), which will feature installations by modern-art pioneers Jasper Johns, Matthew Barney, Richard Serra, and more, but also to whittle away the hours in the state-of-the-art theatre and city-view cafe, featuring super-fancy creations by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.

The New York Times ran a piece in Sunday's paper that made the Walker look like the world's greatest museum, and it just might be. The writer asserts that not only is the Walker innovative for its design (by award-winning Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron), but the Center relied on an innovative business model that looked to local businesses (instead of grants) like Target and Best Buy to foot the $92 million expansion.

But the Star Tribune paints a less rosy picture in Sunday's paper, claiming that the Center's expansion is $6 million over budget, and that the total cost for the expansion now stands at $130.5 million. For now, the high-design office furniture is on hold.

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