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Cuneo Museum and Gardens opens new pavilion

ShaunMartRobert Ritter cut ribbbefore their wedding recepticommemorate opening new paviliCuneo Museum Gardens VernHills Saturday. | Joel Wintermantle~for Sun-Times Media

Shauna Martin and Robert Ritter cut a ribbon before their wedding reception to commemorate the opening of the new pavilion at the Cuneo Museum and Gardens in Vernon Hills Saturday. | Joel Wintermantle~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 23, 2011 2:23AM

Saturday was a special night for Shauna Martin and Robert Ritter as they celebrated their wedding reception at the new pavilion at Loyola University’s Cuneo Museum and Gardens in Vernon Hills.

The newlyweds cut the ribbon for the 5,500-square-foot pavilion, which was built as an addition to the museum and will serve as a permanent location for weddings, corporate functions, meetings and other events.

Kevin Ginty, general manager for Cuneo Museum and Gardens, said the couple agreed to lead the ribbon cutting ceremony before entering the pavilion for their wedding reception, and the bride happens to be a Loyola University alumnus.

“It’s kind of neat it worked out that way,” he said.

Ginty said the university broke ground on the new pavilion last October. He said previously wedding receptions were held in an outdoor tent on the Cuneo grounds, which could only be used during the warmer months between May and October. “Now, we can use it year round,” he said.

The new pavilion includes a large open room for weddings and other events with room for up to 300 people, a catering kitchen and restroom facilities and a terrace overlooking the Cuneo gardens.

“It will be a great location for outdoor cocktail receptions and other events,” said Ginty. “I think people will find we offer a unique venue that they will not find at a regular banquet facility.”

In 2009, the Cuneo Foundation, the family foundation of John Cuneo Jr. and his wife, Herta, donated the 100-acre Cuneo estate to Loyola University Chicago, along with the museum’s extensive collection of art and furnishings.

The $5 million pavilion expansion project was funded in part from an endowment from the Cuneo family and university capital funds, Ginty said. He said the color scheme and architectural design of the pavilion were designed to fit in seamlessly with the rest of the museum so “it looks like it’s always been there.”

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