As would be expected, the opening of the New Acropolis Museum has re-ignited the debate about the return of the Parthenon’s so-called Elgin Marbles to Athens. At the opening on June 21 of the museum designed by Bernard Tschumi Architects, the president of Greece, Carolos Papoulias, said of the marbles currently lodged in the British Museum, “It’s time to heal the wounds of this monument [the Parthenon] with the return of the marbles that belong to it.”  This “wound” is all the more noticeable by the dramatic display of actual and cast pieces from the Parthenon’s pediments, metopes, and the Panathenaic Frieze on the top floor of the new structure. And because of the brouhaha, curiosity about the marbles themselves has mounted.
In the first decade of the 19th century Thomas Bruce, the 7th earl of Elgin, removed 247 feet of the original 524-foot frieze, 15 of the 92 metopes, and 17 figures from the pediments, plus other architectural elements, and took them back to England. As British Ambassador to the Sublime Porte of Constantinople (Istanbul) where the Ottomon court, which then ruled Greece, was located, Lord Elgin had the opportunity to study the treasures surviving from the famous edifice. While the Parthenon suffered much wear and tear over the years since it had been erected during the age of Pericles (447-432 B.C.), it was most heavily damaged in 1687, when Athens, under Ottoman rule, was besieged by the Venetians. To stave off the Venetians, the Ottoman Turks turned the Acropolis into a fortress, and converted the Parthenon, (which had already functioned as a church and mosque) into a storage facility for gunpowder. When the Venetian camp fired a mortar from a nearby hill, it almost destroyed the classical structure.
During the 18th century, a deep interest in classical antiquity developed among travelers and archeologists—particularly from Britain and France—who came to study the ruins. James Stuart and Nicholas Revett’s measured drawings of the Parthenon, published in 1787 (in volume II of Antiquities of Athens Measured and Delineated) captured the scholarly imagination. At first it seems that Lord Elgin was intent only on drawing and making casts of the Parthenon marbles for interested parties back in England. But soon he began to remove the actual marbles, cutting them into thinner panels so they could be transported more easily. Lord Elgin needed permission to do so, of course, and obtained what he represented as a firman or edict from the Ottoman government saying it was fine to undertake such a project. That firman is disputed even now, Jenifer Neils writes in The Parthenon Frieze (2001), since the actual document is said to be missing, and only an Italian translation exists.
After the British Museum bought the marbles from Lord Elgin in 1816 and put them on display, the museum made casts of its treasure: indeed when Greece was given its independence in 1830, the museum presented the king of Greece with a full set of casts of the Parthenon trove. They arrived in Greece in 1846. Many observers have long considered Lord Elgin’s removal of so many of the real marbles a beneficent act ensuring that these treasures would be safe from more marauders and further destruction. But times change.
Even before the Parthenon of Pericles, the temples on the Acropolis had been subject to destruction. One, the Hekatompedon, thought to have been built on or near the same site as the Parthenon in 570-566 B.C., has few traces left, save for some pedimental sculptures, which can be seen in the New Acropolis Museum. The Parthenon itself rests on the foundations of a subsequent temple, called the “Older Parthenon,” begun in 489 B.C. in celebration of the victory over the Persians in 490 B.C. at Marathon. However, when the Persians returned ten years later, construction halted, and didn’t resume until 468 B.C. at the initiative of Cimon, then Athens’ leading statesman. The temple was only half-finished when he died in 450. After Pericles took over the Parthenon’s construction in 447 B.C., he had Ictinos design a larger temple on the foundations. Whereas the older temple’s peristyle was composed of 6 columns on the short ends and 16 on the long elevations, the new version by Ictinos was expanded to 8 by 17 columns. Callicrates was also involved, but according to Jeffrey Hurwit (The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles, 2004), he was probably the general contractor, and Ictinos remained responsible for the creative work.



Snow Kreilich Architects Inc.
219 North Second Street, Suite 120
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Ryan A+E
50 South Tenth Street, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2012

2380 McGee St #200
Kansas City, MO 64108

Design Architect: Snow Kreilich Architects
Design Principals: Julie Snow, FAIA & Matthew Kreilich, AIA, LEED AP
Project lead designer: Andrew Dull, Associate AIA, LEED AP
Project architect/Project manager: Tyson McElvain, AIA, LEED AP
Project team:
Cameron Bence, AIA
Michael Heller, Associate AIA
Kai Salmela
Matt Rain
Jim Larson, AIA

Architect of record: Ryan A+E
Principal-in-charge: Mike Ryan, AIA, LEED AP
Project lead designer: Logan Gerken, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB
Project manager: Logan Gerken, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB
Project architects: Eric Morin, AIA, NCARB
Project team:
Ayman Arafa, AIA and member of Egyptian Syndicate of Engineers
Sebastian Marquez
Tony Solberg, AIA, NCARB

Sports Architect: AECOM
Director of AECOM Sports, Americas: Jon Niemuth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Project Manager: Dan Sullivan, AIA, LEED AP
Project Architect: Eric Johnston
Designer: Joshua Klooster, LEED AP
Designer: Jason Dalton


Mechanical Engineer: Schadegg Mechanical, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Ericksen Roed & Associates
Electrical Engineer: Hunt Electric
Civil Engineer: Ryan A+E
Stormwater Design/Engineering: Solution Blue
Energy modeling: The Weidt Group


Design landscape architect: Bob Close Studio
Landscape architect of Record: Ryan A+E
Lighting Designer: Henderson Engineers, Inc.
Face brick: Custom Block by Amcon
Cabinetwork: Artifex Millwork Inc.
Window systems: Empirehouse
Architectural metal panels: MG McGrath
Concrete work: Ryan Companies
Wood Ceilings: MG McGrath Inc.

General contractor:

Ryan Companies


Paul Crosby & Christy Radecic


City of St. Paul and the St. Paul Saints


347,000 square feet


$63 million

Completion date:

May 2015 



Structural System

Structural System: provided structural steel, erected the structural steel

Exterior Cladding

Masonry: Masonry: Custom block supplied by Amcon Block, installed masonry

Metal panels: Metal: MG McGrath Inc.  Miscellaneous Metals were by see exterior wall systems for metal panels by

Precast concrete: for placement and finishing, - supplied ready-mix concrete,

Wood: Ceilings (wood): MG McGrath Inc.  installed western red cedar with clear finish as furnished by Weekes Forest Products

Other cladding unique to this project: Metal: MG McGrath Inc.  Miscellaneous Metals were by see exterior wall systems for metal panels by


Glass: Empirehouse, Inc.; Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope (glass, storefront, curtainwall and operable windows at press/media area); Wasco (skylight); Insulgard (ticket windows)

Interior Finishes

Acoustical ceilings: Acoustical System: Armstrong for ACT ceilings, Sonex for the acoustic foam material in the Saint’s office on the Service Level, MG McGrath Inc. installed custom acoustic wood ceiling in Securian Club Room

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Millwork: Artifex Millwork Inc.

Paints and stains: Paints and Finishes: majority of the paint is Sherwin Williams through-out (interior/exterior)


Dimming system or other lighting controls: Lighting Control Systems: installed lighting systems including local controls (wall switches and light sensors).  Some of the lighting control was also provided by Humeratech through the building management system.


Photovoltaic system:Photovoltaics or other Renewables: Hunt installed the entire solar array (PV systems), structure is by Presidential Steel Buildings, PV panels are by Sun Power