Paris and Jersey City team up on new museum

Partnership will bring modern masterpieces to Journal Square

The Centre Pompidou × Jersey City museum will be in the Pathside building just steps away from the Journal Square transit hub.
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The Centre Pompidou × Jersey City museum will be in the Pathside building just steps away from the Journal Square transit hub.

Jersey City will join forces with Paris’s Centre Pompidou, the world renowned art institution to collaborate on its first location in North America.

Scheduled to open in early 2024, the Centre Pompidou × Jersey City museum will become a leading international cultural hub at the heart of historic Journal Square in the iconic Pathside building at 70 Sip Ave.

“As the largest modern and contemporary art collection in Europe, the Centre Pompidou is the perfect partner to carry out our vision and solidify Journal Square as a regional anchor for the arts” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “When the Pathside building was slated for high-rise development, we saw a unique opportunity to change its trajectory to better serve the City as a museum and community center. Today, that commitment is not only coming to fruition, but we’ve raised the bar with a tremendous international partnership that will bring world-class opportunities to Jersey City. This is the latest major step toward our broader revitalization goals, utilizing all our City has to offer and establishing Journal Square as a cultural destination for generations to come.”

The Centre Pompidou is France’s leading national cultural institution established in Paris in 1977. It incorporates the Musée national d’art moderne, which houses the richest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe.

It contains more than 120,000 works and hosts a contemporary music research laboratory, one of the city’s largest public libraries, and the Kandinsky Library displaying one of the most diverse collections of modern and contemporary art-related documents and archives in the world.

The Centre Pompidou extends beyond its Paris walls to collaborate on similar partnerships, including the Centre Pompidou Málaga in Spain, KANAL-Centre Pompidou Brussels, and the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project in Shanghai.

The Centre Pompidou × Jersey City will be the Centre Pompidou’s newest international partnership,

“I am delighted to announce this ambitious initiative with Jersey City, the very first of its kind and importance in America for the Centre Pompidou” said Centre Pompidou’s President Serge Lasvignes. “Our ongoing experiments in Metz (France), Málaga (Spain), Brussels (Belgium) and Shanghai (China) have proven the strength and appropriateness of our way to go outside of our walls and conclude innovative partnerships. I am so happy and grateful that the Centre Pompidou will open a dialogue with the USA from Jersey City, such a very dynamic and diverse community.”

According to the city, Centre Pompidou will not only share its incredible collection of contemporary masterpieces but also help create a program emphasizing hands-on artistic and cultural experiences with a community component as well as a variety of events making the Centre Pompidou × Jersey City a multidisciplinary art laboratory for cultural and educational programming.

“Centre Pompidou has long been one of Europe’s leading cultural treasures” said New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy. “As the state that is both first in the nation to provide universal arts education to our public-school students as well as the home to over 700 arts organizations, New Jersey is uniquely able to appreciate all that this incredible partnership will provide. We look forward to welcoming this storied cultural institution to Jersey City and the meaningful relationships, dialogues, and new perspectives that will undoubtedly come from it.”

Reviving a cultural hub

In the coming months, the city’s consultant OMA New York will work with the city and the Centre Pompidou on the design of the Centre Pompidou × Jersey City in the historic Pathside Building.

The 58,000-square-foot and four-story brick building still has the words “Public Service” etched in stone on the façade.

In 2017, Jersey City acquired the Pathside Building, built in 1912 as the PSE&G office building, for $10 million with the intention of creating a museum or art and cultural hub.

In 2019, the city hired OMA New York, led by Jason Long, to create a strategic plan and find a cultural partner for the Pathside building.

Following several community meetings and outreach to potential partners, the work finally came to fruition as Centre Pompidou’s history as an institution dedicated to multiple forms of contemporary art and culture as well as its dedication to education and cultural organizations matched the city’s and the community’s ambitions for the building.

This announcement marks the city’s most recent investment in the renaissance of Journal Square, which has seen major residential development in recent years.

Centre Pompidou × Jersey City will be across the street from the historic Loew’s Theater, which the city plans to restore as part of a $72 million agreement.

Jersey City has prided itself as a the nation’s most diverse city and as an art and cultural hub.

Over the last several years the city has taken steps to support local arts and culture establishing the state’s first Arts Trust Fund to support local artists, launching the city’s first mural program, and leveraging local zoning to create large performing art spaces for nonprofit art organizations.

“We are making a bet that arts and culture is the reason people will want to live and stay in a city like Jersey City,” said Fulop. “Today’s announcement is another step in that direction.”

“The partnership between the Centre Pompidou and Jersey City will create a unique and iconic anchor for Journal Square and for the city,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We are proud to welcome the Centre Pompidou to New Jersey and we look forward to the opening of what is destined to become one of the premier cultural attractions in North America.”

For updates on this and other stories check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.