The Dalí Museum Expansion

With the vision of creating a revolutionary space for augmented educational experiences to share with its growing global audience, The Dalí is taking steps toward a building expansion. The proposed expansion will:

  1. Extend the Museum’s footprint for immersive experiences that harmoniously blend art and technology,  
  2. Increase the education & community programming space to supplement K-12 curriculum and broaden cultural perspectives,
  3. Nurture the arts evolution and growing tourism of Pinellas County.

This webpage shares information on the progress of the expansion and will be updated as the project evolves.


Interim Plan – element 1: 2022-2023

  • Semi-permanent dome structure, on existing Museum property to the east
  • 2,400 square feet of education and community space
  • Targeted opening Summer 2023

element 2: 2023-2025

  • Permanent extension of current building to the west near the existing parking lot
  • 60,000 square feet of educational and community space
  • This element requires a City lease amendment which was approved to move forward through a passed referendum on the Nov 2022 ballot.
  • Targeted opening 2025

A conversation about element 2 with Kathy Greif, Chief Operating Officer at The Dalí


About The Dalí Museum
The Dalí, located in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, is a not-for-profit museum and has long stood as a cultural beacon of the Tampa Bay area, with a mission to care for and share an expertly curated collection of Salvador Dalí’s work, preserving his legacy and leveraging his inspiring work to drive imagination, innovation and new perspectives.

The Dalí Museum is home to an unparalleled collection of Salvador Dalí works, one of the most acclaimed collections of a single modern artist in the world. In addition to the extensive permanent collection, the Museum frequently showcases exhibitions curated from top worldwide collections and is a leader in innovation, producing award-winning digital art experiences. The Dalí serves as a hub of intellectual and educational activity offering programming for adults and families such as films, lectures, performances and workshops, providing an ongoing impact in both the Tampa Bay community and the world at large.


Frequently Asked Questions

Expansion Overall

Why does The Dalí want to expand?

The Dalí has been a part of the St. Petersburg community for over 40 years since opening its doors in 1982. It has seen tremendous growth, particularly since the current building opened in 2011. The Museum attracts as many as 400,000 visitors annually from the Tampa Bay area, Florida, every state in the US and over 30 countries around the world. The existing spaces are simply at capacity.

Also, as a museum grounded in the creative spirit of the namesake artist, Salvador Dalí, combined with growing worldwide demand for the digital art experiences, the expansion calls for dedicated gallery space for experiences that blend art and technology. Dalí Museum visitors have reported a strong interest in seeing more immersive experiences – they help people feel more connected to art, better understand it and gain inspiration from it.

In addition to dedicated space for digital art, the expanded Museum would include more community space for K-12 student programs and adult education including the Museum’s growing Innovation Labs, a proprietary professional development program.

What will the expansion do for the community?

The Dalí has been on the cutting edge of digital and experiential art; the expansion will strengthen the Museum’s leadership position in visual arts education and experience. It will provide more space for students and educators. It will be a further matter of pride to the community as the leading global attraction in the region. It will drive visitors and economic impact and create jobs.

An independent study by Research Data Services, Inc. concluded The Dalí has generated nearly $1 billion in economic impact to the area in the last decade and the Museum’s proposed expansion would drive an incremental 70,000 visitors and nearly $180 million dollars in economic impact to St. Petersburg in the first year alone.

Where exactly will the Museum expand?

In element 1, the semi-permanent dome structure will be placed on the Museum’s existing property on the east side of the building.

In element 2: The design proposal builds to the west of the Museum, between the existing structure and the parking lot, on a 40-foot-wide strip (Lot 6). See image above. (When the project began in 2018, the idea was to build on the existing parking lot (Lot 3); it was revised in 2021 to accommodate the competing interests of other area organizations.)

element 1: short-term semi-permanent dome structure

Who is building the dome?

The Dalí is working with Stantec (civil engineer and architecture), JE Dunn (construction) and Omnispace360 (dome fabrication).

How long have you been working on this dome?

The Museum experienced delays the past few years on the proposed permanent expansion. In early 2021, as the timeline for the expansion prolonged, while the Museum remained steadfast in its plans to augment its space in a substantial way, an exploration for an interim, expedient solution was initiated.

How big is the dome?

The dome is 60 feet in diameter and 39 feet tall. It will have approximately 2,400 sq ft.

What do you plan to feature in the dome?

We will display projection-mapped, digital exhibitions. It will also be used as programming and community space.

Why not just wait until the permanent expansion?

Through visitor research and museum industry trends, we recognize that visitors are seeking interactive art experiences in addition to the traditional art galleries. The Dalí takes pride in being on the forefront of museum innovation, and has been celebrated internationally for not only its collection but for its unique, engaging programming and exhibitions that blend art and technology. We aim to stay ahead of the curve and our current space simply isn’t large enough to both display the numerous digital experiences we have developed and continue to create and share them with the community.

If you’re building a dome, why do you still need a permanent expansion?

The dome provides an interim solution to increase space but it is about 1/20th the size of the space of the proposed permanent expansion. The new building will have dedicated spaces for immersive experiences, educational programming and community use, while the dome is one, small concentric space.

When will the dome open?

Pending permits, groundwork is planned to begin in October 2022 with the goal of opening the dome in Summer 2023.

Why are you starting this project in October, when the referendum vote isn’t until November?

The timing is purely coincidental. This semi-permanent dome is not associated with the permanent addition. The dome will be placed on the existing Museum grounds and therefore does not require a referendum or vote. The project was initiated long before we knew a referendum for the permanent expansion would even be needed.

element 2: long-term permanent building addition

How much will the permanent addition cost?

When The Dalí originally conceived and designed the first expansion plans in 2018, the estimated cost was $35M (with a solar roof option of +$3M). The design has since changed, coupled with extreme escalations in the costs of construction, and now the proposed permanent addition is estimated at $55M.

Where will the funding come from?

The permanent addition funding will come from of the following sources:

  • A capital grant from the Pinellas County Commission drawn from hotel tax revenue from tourists to the area. In 2019, The Dalí was awarded a $17.5M capital grant, at the recommendation of the Tourist Development Council.
  • The Museum’s expansion fund.
  • Private funds donated by individuals in support of the benefits the Museum brings to the community.
  • Corporate sponsorships.

Does the project require City of St. Petersburg funding?

No, the City has not committed direct funds for the Museum’s permanent expansion. However, the City is supportive of the project, leading the referendum (noted below) and will assist in transportation and related matters throughout the construction period.

Does the project require tax payer dollars?

No, the project does NOT require St Petersburg resident tax-payer funding.

The $17.5M Capital Project Grant awarded to The Dalí from the Pinellas County Commission, at the recommendation of the Tourist Development Council, comes from “Bed Tax”, which is collected from overnight tourist accommodations (e.g. hotels, motels, etc.), which Pinellas County reinvests into improvements in the County for capital projects for sports attractions and cultural arts organizations.

Why is there a discussion of a referendum?

The strip of land The Dalí is proposing to build the permanent addition upon is zoned “waterfront” (though it’s on the west side of the building away from the water). The Museum’s 99-year renewable lease with the City of St. Petersburg needs to be amended to allow The Dalí to build on that strip of land (Lot 6). The current lease allows the Museum to build on Lot 1, Lot 2 and Lot 3, but not the strip of land between them. The referendum was placed on the Nov 2022 ballot for St. Petersburg residents and passed.

When will the referendum occur?

The first City Council reading of the referendum was on Jul 14, 2022. The second reading was on Aug 4, 2022 and was approved unanimously by City Council members. The referendum appeared on the Nov 8, 2022 ballot. Voters residing in the City of St. Petersburg were eligible to vote and the referendum passed.

The Museum went through a similar process in 2004, where voting residents passed a referendum in support of the current building.

Now that the referendum has passed, what are next steps?

First, The Dalí will worth with the City to amend the lease. Then, the Museum will further the conceptual sketches into official architectural drawings and finalize construction costs with the hope of breaking ground in 2024 and an estimated 2-3 year construction timeline for a 2027 opening.

What does The Dalí’s expansion have to do with the Center for the Arts?

The Center for the Arts is a project proposed by the City of St. Petersburg, which would transform additional parts of the area around The Dalí and The Mahaffey Theater. The City has presented conceptual renderings, making the entrances to the Museum and Theater more inviting and revising parking. The City in in the process of conducting further studies and assessments for the project. The Dalí’s expansion is a first step toward the larger Center for the Arts concept, which aims to benefit visitors and locals for years to come.

Proposed Expansion mock-up for Center for the Arts

Image: The City’s proposed concept for the Center for the Arts (City of St. Petersburg; Ark3 Architects).

How will The Dalí’s expansion impact other area organizations, such as The Mahaffey Theater?

The Dalí’s plan for expansion will have no foreseeable negative impact on nearby organizations. In fact, the current project plans are designed to accommodate the needs of those around us, including The Mahaffey Theater. Additionally, the Theater remained open when The Dalí built its current structure, with no interruptions to The Mahaffey’s operations. The only impact to the Mahaffey would be moving (not removing) one of the many parking garage entrances to a new location. Now that the referendum has passed, we will continue to work the City and our neighbors throughout the lease amendment process and in subsequent expansion planning.

Looking for additional information?

Learn more about The Dalí’s capital campaign or make a donation: Development@TheDali.org

Press inquiries, email PR@TheDali.org

Building (construction, architecture, etc.) inquiries: Expansion@TheDali.org

General inquiries: Info@TheDali.org