Editorial: Cleveland Plain Dealer

In addition to exhibiting great art, the Transformer Station could spark economic development at West 29th Street and Church Avenue.
Next down the pike for the art museum: completion of its eight-year, $350 million expansion and renovation, expected by 2013-14.
The dramatic remake of the museum's exhibit and community spaces provides Franklin with a chance to rethink the museum's mission and approach. Among changes: a new learning center that will combine treasured art objects with technology to give patrons surprising ways to view and think about art.
And Franklin believes exhibiting more of the jewels of this museum's highly esteemed collection could be just as popular, and more enriching, than any pre-packaged traveling show.
Augmenting the museum's limited contemporary art collection, to keep the museum at the cutting edge of art and to attract younger people to visit, is another longstanding goal.
That's where the Bidwell gift comes in. Besides sharing contemporary art from their highly respected collection, the couple also has agreed to buy and renovate the West Side exhibition space, in an old Ohio City transformer station, and jointly program exhibits for 15 years. The West Side annex will become museum property at the end of 15 years.
In addition, the Bidwells will donate $3 million to the main museum, including $2 million for an endowed curatorial chair in contemporary art -- for a total gift valued at $5.5 million to $7 million.
Eventually, the Bidwells say they intend to leave their full art collection to the Cleveland museum and the Akron Art Museum, with details yet to be worked out. Their intention stands as another reminder of the incomparable value Cleveland's great cultural institutions enjoy from the generosity of local supporters.