The Stark Museum of Art’s architecture projects a monumental, elegant presence. The design of the two-story building features clean lines and rectangular shapes with a white marble surface. The corner entry forms a bold focal point. There the second story marble mass contrasts dramatically with the expanse of open space created by the recessed entry. The Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, under the chairmanship of Nelda Stark, commissioned the building from the architectural firm Page Southerland Page of Austin, Texas, with Ernesto G. Liebrecht as architect. Nearly 2,000 pieces of Vermont White Imperial Danby Marble, each weighing 250 pounds, cover 33,000 square feet of the exterior of the building. Because of its location, the museum was built to withstand Category Five hurricane winds of 200 mph. The Stark Museum of Art has more than 60,000 square feet of space for exhibitions, visitor services, storage, and work areas. On the interior, the center area of the large lobby is open to the second floor and illuminated by a bank of lights. This creates a dramatic atrium effect to highlight works of art from the collection. The lobby and five exhibition galleries are all located on the first floor. The remaining space is dedicated to storage vaults, exhibition preparation, staff offices and the mechanical requirements of the building. Two years and five months after breaking ground, the building was completed in 1976, and staff began preparations for exhibitions. The following year the museum received the Building Stone Institute’s prestigious national Tucker Award for excellence in construction and use of natural stone. The Stark Museum of Art opened to the public on November 29, 1978. Today the museum continues to welcome visitors and to provide an appropriate setting for the exhibiting and preserving of the collections that originated with Lutcher and Nelda Stark and that have been extended and enhanced by the Foundation that bears their names.