Ken Griffin Putting Down Roots In Palm Beach

The Citadel chief is known to be a fan of low taxes and cities with art museum wings named for him.
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(Foster + Parters)

(Foster + Parters)

Three years after successfully defending his title as the richest man in Illinois from his now ex-wife, is Ken Griffin considering its voluntary surrender? Probably not anytime soon: He’s pretty deeply enmeshed in Chicago’s civic life, and after convincing the courts that his three young children should have to stay there and not move to New York with their mother, it’d be pretty awkward to ask them to sign off on a different East Coast relocation.

On the other hand, the Windy City does not really feature suitable accommodation for the likes of Ken Griffin. Things aren’t looking good for his buddies the mayor and governor, and the Citadel chief has some pretty strong feelings about what’s likely to happen to Illinois if those men are not re-hired by the voters.

What’s more, KG is a native Floridian—born in Daytona, educated in Boca. The state’s politicians are somewhat more to his liking. And his second thoughts about his beachfront dream compound were pretty short-lived, and perhaps less about cost overruns and not needing a house longer than a football field, and more about taking into account all of the new land he’s bought since the architect finished the original design. Though the move would relegate him to the third- or fourth-richest in the state, fellow former richest man in a state David Tepper found the tax savings well worth becoming another state’s number two.

But perhaps the clearest sign yet that Griffin is mulling more time at the beach is that he’s put his name on something there. Something near and dear to his heart and wallet.

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, has been given $16 million by the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, the largest gift in the 77-year history of the institution.

The gift comes as part of a $100 million campaign that involves the construction of a 59,000-square-foot wing designed by architect Lord Norman Foster, which is slated to open on February 9, 2019. That new structure will be named the Kenneth C. Griffin Building, in honor of the gift.

The museum said that the fund, which was started by the eponymous hedge-fund maven, is also planning to give another $4 million dollar to endow the director position at the museum, bringing its eventual total contribution to a round $20 million.

And also a round $1 million more than he gave to the Art Institute of Chicago to get his and former missus’ name on its new building 12 years ago, painful memories he won’t have to relive at the Kenneth C. Griffin Building.

Norton Museum Receives $16 M. Gift From Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund [ArtNews]

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