- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art plans to give up its Madison Avenue building to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

But officials at both institutions say that won’t happen until the Whitney moves into its new home in downtown Manhattan in 2015. They announced the news on Wednesday.

The Whitney has occupied the landmark building designed by Marcel Breuer (mar-SEL’ BRO’-yer) since 1966.

The Whitney’s new $720 million home in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.

The stark, stone Madison Avenue structure will offer the Met badly needed space for contemporary art from around the world. The move would bolster a collection critics consider is not the strength of the Fifth Avenue institution that owns artistic creations going back thousands of years.