San Diego


The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, based in a converted, much-expanded landmark, the Ellen Scripps house, designed by Irving Gill in 1915 in idyllic La Jolla, may be as well known for its stunning, oceanside setting as for its bold, nationally acclaimed exhibitions. With the opening of expanded satellite galleries in a historic, former railway baggage building in downtown San Diego last January, the museum became an urban magnet, with its opening and early attendance exceeding projections.

The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Building, the renovated, low-slung, long-shuttered former baggage building, adjoins the city’s beloved, more elaborate Santa Fe Depot, which faces Broadway near San Diego Bay.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Photography © Hewitt Garrison

Several years later, the museum was selected by the city’s downtown redevelopment agency to restore and renovate the building for exhibition space. The museum plan included a controversial move that museum officials said was a deal breaker: To reserve the maximum area possible for art and new media installations, the museum needed to demolish an adjacent nonhistoric railway building and replace it with a contemporary, 13,680-square-foot addition—the new David C. Copley Building—to house offices, education rooms, meeting space, and Amtrak storage.

Hugh M. Davies, the museum’s director, hired what he called his “dream team” for this two-part project: Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, a San Diego–based preservation architect (who left the project after he was named California’s state historic preservation officer); and Richard Gluckman, FAIA, of Gluckman Mayner Architects of New York. Donaldson’s successor firm, Heritage Architecture & Planning, restored the baggage building’s exterior and worked with Gluckman to keep the interior renovations, including a mandatory seismic retrofit, to a minimum.

As with other historic buildings Gluckman has transformed, such as New York City’s Dia Center and Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, he kept the vast interior spaces of the Jacobs as open as possible to maximize opportunities for installation artists. The height of the largest gallery, comparable to the size of a basketball court, peaks at about 38 feet; the exception is a small, jewel-box of a gallery with low ceilings and climate control.

Elegant glass storefronts mark the museum entrance—without detracting from the historic facade—and the trackside exit to the west onto a brick-paved arcade, where Richard Serra placed his commissioned sculpture, a series of steel blocks that respond to the arcade’s rhythm and proportions. Inside, three adjacent galleries, totaling nearly 14,000 square feet, including one just under 4,700 square feet, flow into one another. They can be closed off by huge, rolling wood doors with refined hardware that echo old railway buildings, but with no hint of the rustic vernacular.


Gluckman Mayner Architects
250 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
212.929.0833 fax

Richard Gluckman, FAIA (registered) – Principal-in-Charge
Robert White – Project Manager
Jimmy Counts (registered) – Project Architect
Design Team  – Benjamin Checkwitch (registered); Robert Edmonds (registered); Dean Young (registered); Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss

Associate architect
Heritage Architecture and Planning (formerly Architect Milford Wayne Donaldson)
625 Broadway, Suite 800
San Diego, CA 92101

MEP and Structural Engineers:
155 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY  10013

Civil Engineers:
Lintvedt, McColl and Associates
2810 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 200
San Diego, CA  92108

Veneklasen Associates
1711 Sixteenth Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Construction Manager:
H.R. Weatherford Co.
600 West Broadway , #310
San Diego, CA  92101
Ron Weatherford, Construction Manager

Environmental graphics and signage:
180 Varick St. 9th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Custom office furniture:
LUCE et studio
5070a Santa Fe St.
San Diego, CA 92109

Permanent Art commissions:
Jenny Holzer, For San Diego
Richard Serra, Santa Fe Depot
Roman de Salvo, Utility Filigree

General contractor:
 Rudolph and Sletten, Inc.
10955 Vista Sorrento Parkway, Suite 100
San Diego, CA  92130

for GMA: David Heald

additional photography
by Hewitt Garrison

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
AutoCAD 2004




Structural system:
International Iron
10883 Thornmint Road
San Diego, CA   92127

Exterior cladding
Pilkington Profilit (channel glass)
Technical Glass Products
600 6th Street South
Kirkland, WA 98033

308 Alabama Blvd
Jackson, GA

Ehmcke Sheetmetal (custom fabrication)
840 West 19th Street
National City, CA   91950

Built-up roofing:
Johns Manville
P. O. Box 5108
Denver, Colorado 80217-5108

ISEC Inc. (reconstruction of historic wood windows/storefronts)
3888 Calle Fortunada, Suite A
San Diego, CA   92123

Kawneer storefront system

PPG Solarban 60
One PPG Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15272

Grand View Glass and Metal, Inc.
2134 Green Privado
Ontario, CA 91761

Metal doors:
Hollow Metal doors and frames:
Door Component
Los Angeles, CA

Wood doors:
Marshfield Door Systems
1401 East Fourth Street
Marshfield, WI 54449-7780

Sliding doors:
3888 Calle Fortunada, Suite A
San Diego, CA   92123

Architectural Millwork (fabricator for custom wood doors)
2125 Cross Street
Eugene, OR 97402

Steel roller track & hangers for custom wood doors (Jacobs Building):

Stainless Steel pulls for custom wood doors (Jacobs Building):
Architectural Alternatives
6680 Doolittle Ave
Riverside, CA 92503

Fire-control doors, security grilles:
Total Door
40 W. Howard
Pontiac, MI 48342-1280

Overhead coiling doors:
Cornell Iron Works
100 Elmwood Ave.
Mountaintop, PA 18707

2315 Briargate Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Best Access Systems
6161 East 75th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Sliding Door Hardware (Addition only)
Hafele America Co.
3901 Cheyenne Drive
Archdale, NC 27263

Stanley Hardware (butt hinges)
480 Myrtle Street
New Britain, CT 06053

RIXSON Specialty Door Controls (offset pivot hinges)
9100 W. Belmont Avenue
Franklin Park, IL  60131

LCN Closers
121 W. Railroad Ave.
P.O. Box 100
Princeton, IL 61356

Magnetic Hold-opens:
RIXSON Specialty Door Controls
9100 W. Belmont Avenue
Franklin Park, IL  60131

Exit devices:
Von Duprin
2720 Tobey Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46219

Security devices:
General Electric
8985 Town Center Parkway
Bradenton, FL -34202-5129

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings:
Armstrong World Industries
P.O. Box 3001
Lancaster, PA 17604

Suspension grid:
Armstrong (“Fineline” system)
Armstrong World Industries
P.O. Box 3001
Lancaster, PA 17604

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
3888 Calle Fortunada, Suite A
San Diego, CA   92123

Montbleau & Associates
555 Raven Street
San Diego, CA 92102

Paints and stains:
Frazee Paints
6625 Miramar Rd.
San Diego, CA 92121

Plastic laminate:
Formica “Fog”
255 E. 5th Street
Suite 200
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Special surfacing:
U.S. Architectural Products
55 Industrial Circle
Lincoln, RI 02865

Corian “Macadam”:

Floor and wall tile
“Penny tile” available through:
Nemo Tile
48 E 21st St
New York, NY 10010

3”x6” Ceramic wall tile:
Daltile Corporation
7834 C.F. Hawn Frwy.
Dallas, TX 75217

Resilient flooring:
Cork floor tile:
Amorim Flooring North America
7513 Connelley Drive, Suite M
Hanover, MD 21076

Office furniture:
Custom desks, wall storage units, credenza,
& conference table:
LUCE et studio (designer)
5070a Santa Fe St.
San Diego, CA 92109

Reception furniture:
Custom ticket desk and literature display:
Montbleau & Associates
555 Raven Street
San Diego, CA 92102

Lecture Room: “Visor” stacking chair:

Conference room:
Herman Miller, Eames Aluminum Group

Office chairs:
Meda chair:

Exhibition lighting:
Litelab (BusRun and Museum Collection Fixtures)
251 Elm St
Buffalo, NY 14203

Hubbell QL505 wall-washer (customized by Litelab)
584 Derby Milford Road
Orange, CT  06477-4024

Interior ambient lighting:
Lithonia Lighting fluorescent strip channels
PO Box A
Conyers, GA 30012

Modular International (square aperture)
3941 California Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

1000 Bega Way
Carpinteria , CA 93013

7200 Suter Rd.
Coopersburg, PA 18036-1299


Lavs, urinals, toilets:

Drinking fountains:
1455 Kleppe Lane
Sparks, NV 89431