Are the 'Rocky Steps' at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Under Threat?

World-renowned architect Frank Gehry has been commissioned to redesign the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and he's considering removing portions of the steps that were made iconic by Sylvester Stallone in 'Rocky.'
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Rocky Steps Photo

Sylvester Stallone sits on the museum's steps with his beloved bull mastiff Butkus for the film 'Rocky,' 1976. (Photo: United Artists/Courtesy of Getty Images)

It was the climax to the Rocky training montage: Rocky Balboa, determined to make it to the top, charges up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and triumphantly shoots his fist up in the frigid air.

But now those original steps may be no longer. Of the various options to freshen up the look of the museum, architect Frank Gehry is considering removing some of the stairs to make space for windows that will look into the galleries.

But for Rocky fans, rest assured, Gehry maintains that there are many proposals on the table and that altering the stairs is just one concept they're considering. "It's not a done deal by any means," he says.

The iconic steps were shot multiple times in the Rocky franchise, but none were as glorious as in the original, in which Rocky fails to ascend to the top in the beginning of the film but later finds the stamina and determination to claim victory.

"The steps were like this magical area, like this intellectual bastion that I would only look at from afar," Sylvester Stallone recalled when he had written it in for his film. "It almost seemed like another city, like the Acropolis … [Rocky Balboa] really doesn't even understand what's inside, but only what it represents."

Source: The Guardian