Portions of LACMA to be Torn Down and Reborn?

LACMA 2
The Art of the Americas Building has long been criticized for cutting off the museum from Wilshire Boulevard and its environs. The new plan would turn the museum “inside out” with street traffic able to look in on the exhibits without even entering the buildings.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), is in the spotlight again as plans to tear down most of the eastern portions of the museum and build a modern cohesive glass structure were released to the public. The $650 million project has yet to come before LACMA’s Board of Directors, but the new design, a long flat glass box which allows the outside world to look in, is getting attention for what we will lose as much as what we will gain along Wilshire Boulevard in the heart of the Miracle Mile.

The new western end of the LACMA campus will be put to full use should the project go forward.
The new western end of the LACMA campus will be put to full use, should the demolition project go forward.

Prepped by a fine story about LACMA’s visionary director Michael Govan in theWall Street Journal last week, the museum released more information this week on architect Peter Zumthor’s vision for deconstructing the current campus. Everything east of the “Urban Lights” lamp post installation could be torn down (excluding the Japanese Pavillion) – including the Ahmanson, Hammer, Bing and Art of the Americas buildings. Many feel the current hodge-podge of architecture built in 1965 and 1986, blocks Wilshire Boulevard from the guts of the museum.

The new project would be an indoor-outdoor design with 360 degrees of glass walls set a floor above ground level, allowing visitors on the exterior to look inside through ‘transparent galleries’ to art that hasn’t seen the light of day for many years.

The LA Times carried a front-page story on the proposal today, and museum members and visitors will have a chance to look it over more clearly in  an exhibition at LACMA titled “The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA” beginning June 9th. Govan will interview Zumthor in LACMA’s Director Series Monday, June 3rd (tickets can be purchased onlineif you’d like to hear the plans, straight from the mouths of those behind the new vision.

Wall Street Journal: If He Builds It You Will Come

LA Times: LACMA draws up plans for an ambitious $650 million new look

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About Julie Grist

Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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