Interview with Renovation Project Managers Nick Cameron and Lauren Amos
This post was originally published on our renovation blog. All new renovation-related posts will be included on the Gibbes Museum blog.
How did you become involved with this project?
Nick – I first learned of the project from Museum Designer, Jeff Daly. I worked with Jeff for many years at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and subsequently, on a gallery renovation project at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. While working on the project in Indianapolis, Jeff talked extensively about the early planning on the Gibbes Renovation and made it seemed like a wonderful project. When the time came to hire an Owner’s Representative the Gibbes gave me the opportunity to interview for the position.
Lauren – I worked for Nick for a number of years at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. When Nick left the IMA and started his firm he offered me the chance to join him. I felt that working on this project as well as living in Charleston seemed like a perfect opportunity.
Can you give us some behind the scenes glimpses of what’s happening right now with the renovations?
Currently there are major strides being made in the infrastructure of the building. A major part of the renovation is focused on bringing the mechanical systems up to standards and we are seeing a lot of ductwork being installed at the moment. The electrical and plumbing infrastructure is also progressing nicely. Of course the main visual difference that most people can see is the progress on the new addition. This week the structural steel that will support the third floor of the addition was completed and we are well on our way to having the shell of the addition complete soon.
During the Gaillard renovation archaeologists found bones from 29 graves on the site, have you come across any unexpected discoveries at the Gibbes?
In the new lecture and reception area at the back of the building, work was being done in order to accommodate a new skyfold door. During some core drilling in this area, about 5 feet below the floor a total of 6 trolley track sets were found running in opposite directions. It is believed these were used to support the foundation of the original 1905 building.
What aspect of the renovated museum do you think will have the biggest impact on the visitor’s experience?
Nick – I think the Lenhardt Garden will be a fantastic place for museum visitor’s to enjoy the outdoors. The plaster restoration work in the Rotunda and Main Gallery will excite the public by emphasizing the grandeur of the original architecture. The new gallery layout will enhance the flow through the permanent collection and special exhibitions. The new lighting systems will provide the visitor with a view of the collections never experienced before at the Gibbes.
Lauren – The redesigned “free” first floor will offer many amenities, like the café and working artist studios that will offer an elevated museum experience. I also feel like the expanded gallery space will allow for better display of the Gibbes Collection and will make it possible for the Gibbes to bring many high quality special exhibitions to Charleston.
What have you most enjoyed about living in Charleston?
Nick – This is a hard question to answer but between the charm of the city, the balmy southern weather, and the friendliness of the people I am enjoying living in Charleston very much.
Lauren – Growing up in Northeast Ohio and mainly living in the Midwest for the majority of my life, I have to say I enjoy the warmth the most but I also love living in a city with such historical significance.
Nicholas Cameron started NCMC following his departure from the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2013. His goal in starting a consulting firm was to put his extensive museum construction and operations experience to work. Cameron served as Chief Operating Officer of the IMA from 2010 to 2013. In his role at the IMA, Cameron led the construction and renovation efforts at the main museum building. Prior to joining the IMA, Cameron worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for more than 30 years, serving for 10 years as Vice President for Construction. While at The MET, Cameron successfully completed more than $850 million in construction projects over a 22-year period. Cameron holds an MBA from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University
Lauren Amos joined NCMC in 2013. In her role at NCMC, Amos serves as primary administrator in operational and financial matters. She also participates in the day to day Owner’s Representative and Consulting Services the firm provides its clients. Prior to joining NCMC, Amos was responsible for Operations at the Indinapolis Museum of Art. She worked directly with the security, facilities, events, retail, food service, and design departments. While at the IMA, she also served in key roles on many special projects including all activities at Westerley (Director’s residence), the partnership with the Indianapolis International Airport, and the collaboration with The Alexander Hotel.
Throughout her career, Amos has held operational and administrative positions at various consulting firms ranging from engineering, hospitality, finance, and human resources.
Amos received her BA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Published October 25, 2015