'Ruby City' Art Museum Coming To The Alamo City

Jun 1, 2017

Ground was broken Wednesday morning for San Antonio's newest art museum. 

The building was conceived by the late artist and philanthropist Linda Pace, who said it came to her in a dream. Its curious name – Ruby City – is explained by the Linda Pace Foundation's Rick Moore.

"Ruby City was the reflection of Linda's dream where she envisioned an iconic structure that was deep red," Moore said.

And in typical Pace fashion, she planned for the museum to be a memorable structure.

"She wanted the building itself to be a structure that people would talk about. And how beautiful to do that with Sir David Adjaye, who she had the opportunity to meet," Moore said.   

As Architect Irby Hightower explains, the now internationally famous architect David Adjaye was selected by Pace herself.

"Linda was this person that really recognized talent--frequently before other people did--and in 2006 David Adjaye was well-known in Europe and not well-known in the United States. So it was really interesting that she would pick him," he said.

Adjaye, in the interim, built one of this country's most distinctive recent projects.

"Since then he has done the African-American Museum for the Smithsonian in Washington. I think this year he's in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, the only Architect on that list. So as usual, she recognized talent early, was able to promote it, and bring it to San Antonio," Moore said.

The fourteen-thousand square foot, 2-story, 16 million dollar museum housing more than 800 works will be built on Camp Street, across from Chris Park and adjoining soon-to-be developed San Pedro Creek.  County Judge Nelson Wolff sees more than just an artistic benefit to the area.

"I think we all understand now the impact of arts on a community. It's not just about the art; it's about the economic impact it brings to you.  I think we'll draw people from all over the world to see this collection," he said.

Rick Moore says we can expect a grand opening in less than 2 years.

"Construction is expected to be completed in late summer of two thousand eighteen, and there will be a 6-month cure period and it will open in 2019," Moore said.

Find more on the Ruby City project here

Find more on Architect Sir David Adjaye here