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As a member of the architectural selection committee, Donald Baumgartner was instrumental in selecting Santiago Calatrava as architect for the addition for the Milwaukee Art Museum. In 1994, the Museum chose the Spanish-born architect as the designer who would take them into the next millennium with his international vision and skill as an engineer and architect.

The Quadracci Pavilion, the first Calatrava-designed building completed in the United States, opened in 2001 to rave reviews. It was Time Magazine's Building of the Year. The expansion project included new exhibition galleries and an auditorium, as well as a museum store and cafe.