BEST MUSEUM - 2002
Bass Museum of Art
We waited and waited (and waited) for the old Bass Museum to reopen after an extensive, eight-million-dollar renovation and expansion. It turned out to be worth the wait. For more than three years the City of Miami Beach, which owns the museum, suffered through interminable, costly construction problems. First the roof fell in. Then a new concrete floor came crashing down from its broken support beams. Then the new climate-control system had to be completely retooled. Then a water valve burst and soaked the hardwood floors. Then the new roof began to leak. It was as if Job were building the museum. But now that it's open (we hope for good), the Bass is a beautiful structure to behold, thanks to the design of Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. Added to the old Bass's 11,000 square feet is a skylight-connected new wing with twice the room and a spectacular 22-foot ceiling in the second-floor gallery. The lighting is better too. The addition of a café, outside terrace, and typically overpriced gift shop complete the Bass's transformation into a truly modern exhibition space.