Brooks Museum looks to move downtown

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some big changes could be on the way for the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

After more than a century in Overton Park, the museum may be headed for downtown Memphis.

"Uncluttered" and "fun" are just two of the things Memphians would like in a new Memphis Brooks Museum of Arts' Building.

Tuesday, community members met inside of the Memphis Fire Department downtown headquarters, the proposed location for the new museum.

"Prime, beautiful property on one of the most beautiful spots in Memphis overlooking the Mississippi River," executive director Emily Neff said.

Neff said the decision to move is simple. The current location in Overton Park needs major renovations and the museum needs more space.

She said the hope is to place the new museum building in the heart of downtown, where it can be a welcoming spot to tourist and locals alike.

"We definitely will be bigger to address the issues we have been challenged by," Neff said.

But some native Memphians are having a hard time letting go.

"Hopefully they would get some more tourists here, but that's a hope," Midtown resident Sue Williams said.

"It took me a bit of coming around to the idea," Downtown resident Aaron Banks said.

Banks grew up in Midtown and said he has a lot of attachment to the Brooks Museum being in Overton Park, though the idea of a revitalized riverfront is appealing, too.

"Something that should have been there all along, really made me excited all along," Banks said.

Construction costs are estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

A possible completion date for the museum could be as far away as 2023.

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