Mitchell Rales is one of the world’s leading art collectors. He’s placed his art under the management of his Glenstone foundation, a 25,000 sq. ft exhibition space on the grounds of his estate. But his plans to expand the museum facilities are running into local opposition, according to the Washington Post:
Since Glenstone opened to the public in 2006, only 10,000 people have visited. Potential visitors must complete an online form that asks if they are journalists or connected to “the blogging community.” Cameras and note-taking are forbidden.
Now, Rales and his wife, Emily Wei Rales, Glenstone’s former curator, say they want more visitors to see their growing collection. They have decided to build another gallery, which at 125,000 square feet would dwarf Glenstone’s current exhibition space. […] Glenstone is in an area of Montgomery where, to help control growth, sewers are generally banned; instead, septic systems are used. The county planning board voted down Rales’s request in late May, citing environmental concerns and the risk of setting a precedent that could dismantle the sewer ban throughout the slow-growth area. Local environmental groups and some neighbors are opposed, noting that, at 3,000 feet, the sewer line would be one of the longest ever approved by the county and would run across an environmentally vulnerable stream.
“When we start allowing billionaires. . . to circumvent the law and the process to buy their way into what they want, I think there is a problem,” said Caroline Taylor of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance.
Art collector Mitchell Rales’s grand design hangs up over sewer issue (Washington Post)