Construction is poised to start for LACMA’s Geffen Galleries

| January 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

RENDERING shows David Geffen Galleries, viewed west along Wilshire Blvd. Photo by Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner/The Boundary.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is thriving, or at least the part of it that is open, while preparations are being made for its new David Geffen Galleries.

While the buildings slated for demolition on the museum’s east campus are closed to the public, the west side of the campus is busy with activity, museum officials tell us.

Exhibits — including artworks from the permanent collection in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) and the Resnick Pavilion, together with the outdoor Urban Light and Levitated Mass — complement robust education, music and other programming.

Dining? Yes, that too. It’s at Ray’s & Stark Bar and the more casual LACMA Café (in an Airstream trailer) at the Smidt Welcome Plaza.

The Boone Children’s Gallery offers family art-making programs in various locations on the west campus; check for locations and hours on the website.

LACMA’s “Sundays Live” music programs are being presented just east along Wilshire Blvd., at St. James’ in-the-City, 3903 Wilshire Blvd.

Meanwhile, site work is underway in advance of construction of the new single-story David Geffen Galleries that will be raised up above both Hancock Park and Wilshire Blvd.

The 347,500-square-foot  permanent collection building will span Wilshire Blvd. It replaces four buildings: Ahmanson, Art of the Americas, Bing and Hammer.

The Geffen Galleries building is expected to open in early 2024, a museum spokesperson said.

The project was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in April and the City Council okayed the use of air rights above Wilshire Blvd. in a unanimous 13-0 vote Dec. 3. The building is being designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.

The site work includes installation of a fence along the northern edge of LACMA’s Hammer and Ahmanson buildings as well as the Cantor Sculpture Garden. The fence will provide for public safety, and the museum also is collaborating with the Natural History Museum to minimize impacts to the surrounding parts of Hancock Park.

In addition, new bike parking stations are being built on LACMA’s campus just northeast of the massive rock sculpture Levitated Mass.

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