Next year will be groundbreaking for the Mexican Museum in more ways than one.
In 2013, construction begins on a new 40,000-square-foot facility on the ground floor of 706 Mission, a residential building planned for Mission and Third Streets; the art space itself has a projected opening of 2016. In the meantime, the museum was named Tuesday as San Francisco's first and only affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, ensuring access to a loan collection estimated at 136 million artifacts.
The Mexican Museum was founded in 1975 and was originally located in the Mission District until moving to Fort Mason in 1982. Its eventual move will put it in prime distance of other museums and galleries, widening its exposure to tourists and downtown workers alike. The new partnership is also a bridge that has lanes in each direction, allowing the Mexican Museum to curate exhibits at the Smithsonian and extend its brand outside of the area.