NORTH ADAMS -- The Barbara and Eric Rudd Art Foundation has big plans for a one-artist museum at the former First United Methodist Church.
Plans for the Rudd Art Museum, along with an application to build a new convenience store and gas station on the current site of the Shell Station at 1 State Road and an application to construct additional storage space at T&M Auto, will go before the city's Planning Board at 6 p.m. today at City Hall.
Rudd, who serves as president of the Barbara and Eric Rudd Art Foundation, is seeking a change of use permit that would allow the former church to become an art museum featuring work created by Rudd over the last 50 years.
"The proposed museum will be an attraction that is in walking distance from Mass MoCA and the center of downtown North Adams," he wrote in the application's narrative description. "Essentially the foundation is opening a one-artist museum. Normally a museum of this type is established upon the death of an artist who is world-known."
Rudd wrote that he already has nearly a half-century of work that can be exhibited at the museum, which is part of a much larger plan that includes the Beaver Mill and his Chapel for Humanity on Summer Street.
"The immediate plan is to get the Rudd Art Museum up and running at the former Methodist Church," he wrote. "It will serve as the public headquarters of the Rudd Art Museum for the next decade. Upon the advanced age or death of the artist, the 130,000-square-foot Beaver Mill will become the Rudd Art Museum, with 70,000 square feet dedicated to the museum and 60,000 square feet that will be rented out."
While the plans state the museum isn't expected to open until summer 2014, Rudd states in the application that there is the possibility of a "sneak peek" this summer. He also states that he hopes to rent the space not being used as a gallery to other local nonprofit agencies.
Little work is planned for the Gothic Revival-style church, which was built in 1929. Plans for the church include limited interior repair work and the addition of lighting fixtures.
Rudd plans to display many of his Lexan sculptures, a robotic sculpture and numerous drawings. The museum is expected to be open from May through October.
Also coming before the Planning Board on Monday, an application submitted by Consulting and Design LLC, on behalf of O'Connell Oil Associates Inc., seeks to remove the existing Shell Station building, two gas pump islands and canopy at 1 State Road. The 1,440-square-foot building will be replaced with a new convenience store, four gas pump islands, a new center kiosk and a new overhead canopy.
The board will also hear from Michael Milazzo, of T&M Auto at 512 Curran Highway, who submitted an application to build a new addition for storage behind the current building.
According to information provided by Nathan Tatro of Yankee General Contracting, an existing 8-foot-wide, 66-foot-high addition will be removed and replaced by a new 25-foot-wide, 66-foot-high addition.
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email