Museum of Fine Arts, Boston – The Art of the America’s Wing

MFA_35Size: 133,500 sq. ft.
GC: John Moriarty and Associates, Winchester, MA
Owner: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Electrical Crew:  50 at peak construction

Scope: Comprehensive electrical construction of Art of the Americas wing, Sharf Visitor Center, Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard, renovation of historic entrances and galleries.  Installation of new power distribution system , life safety system, lighting and lighting control systems.


  • Primary power distribution included installing and wiring six major pieces of Cutler Hammer switchgear
  • Installed 1500kW Cummings generator for emergency power system
  • Parallel installation process with cutover to new power distribution system
  • New EST bi-directional fire alarm system installed in Fenway and Huntington entrances, Sharf Visitor Center, and new Art of the Americas Wing fully integrated into existing Honeywell system
  • New Fire Command Center installation in Huntington entrance
  • Revitalized Fenway entrance with new parapet and railing LED lighting, banner lighting, fountain lighting and pump control, and fire alarm system
  • Sharf Visitor Center installations included fire alarm, track lighting and digital displays for ticketing and exhibit information
  • Renovated grand Huntington Entrance parapet, façade and entrance LED lighting; installed new life safety system
  • Sophisticated Lutron lighting control system provides total function control of lighting in galleries, floor outlets for displays, shade control and AV systems
  • Project Timeline: 24 month, multi-phase project

Unique Project Challenges:
Coordination, planning and transporting electrical switchgear was critical.  All MEP equipment was delivered to basement level of the new building and intricate rigging was required to transport switchgear and massive generator into electrical rooms, which are  the farthest points from the MFA’s basement rigging point.

West end switchgear installation required accelerated work schedule, entailing decommissioning of existing NSTAR vault and installation of a separate NSTAR transformer to reefed west end equipment.

Four power shutdowns were provided on overnight schedules to enable cutovers to new system, as all museum systems were kept operational at all times

Existing fire command center in Huntington entrance, located 600 feet from new fire command center in Fenway entrance, was kept operational until new system was integrated, programmed and tested.

More than 100 different types of fixtures were installed, including nearly three miles of track lighting from Litelab.