Career Capstone


Photo courtesy of Jerry Curran.

New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will open its expanded campus Oct. 21, 2019, with a reimagined presentation of modern and contemporary art.

The expansion, developed by MoMA with architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler, adds more than 40,000 square feet of gallery space and enables the museum to exhibit significantly more art in new and interdisciplinary ways. The studio in the heart of the museum will feature live programming and performances that react to, question, and challenge the history of modern art and the current cultural moment.

An innovative second-floor platform for education will invite visitors to connect with art that explores new ideas about the present, past, and future. Street-level galleries, free and open to all on the expanded ground floor, will better connect the museum to New York City and bring art closer to people on the streets of midtown Manhattan.

J.J. Curran & Son started working in the new MoMA in February 2018; more than a year later, installations are wrapping up as the museum prepares to open its doors this fall.

Floor Focus
Manufactured by WoodCo, based in San Antonio, Texas, the floors had to be perfect from the start. “The architects requested 50,000 square feet of FSC-Certified livesawn American white oak,” says Debbie George, WoodCo Marketing Manager. “The wood had to be super clear with no sapwood, no knots bigger than 1/8”, and not more than one knot every 3’. The boards also had to be 1” thick. These things considered, a lot of standard 5/4 lumber didn’t make the grade, and it took nearly nine months to obtain enough lumber.”

The material was milled to a standard tongue-and-groove profile, with the extra thickness being on the top. The 1” thick boards were 8” wide and measured from 6’ to 16’
long, with the majority of the boards being between 8’ and 12’ long.

After previously working with the architects for MoMA on the Clarke Museum VECC, J.J. Curran & Son was chosen again as the flooring contractor for the museum.

“My son, Seamus Curran, is the project manager for this job,” says Jerry Curran, Owner of J.J. Curran & Son. “He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2012 with his degree in civil engineering and is a valuable member of our team.”

“We installed 25,000 square feet in the fourth- and fifth-floor galleries,” continues Curran. “We also will be installing 8,000 square feet of single directional riftsawn parquet and 2,000 square feet of end-grain block on the first floor of the museum.”

The floors were stained with DuraSeal Country White and finished with Bona HD Commercial Matte.

“Staining and finishing these floors was a challenge,” says Curran. “With 200’-long runs and so much added light from the ceiling fixtures, it was crucial that the stain and finish be perfect.”

“This job has been the capstone of my career; it has been really cool to see it all come to life this past year,” concludes Curran.

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