Despite the objections of critics and preservationists, the original buildings of LACMA's Miracle Mile campus seem to be destined for the wrecking ball.
To start 2020, LACMA has quietly initiated demolition of its William Pereira-and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates-designed building on Wilshire Boulevard, clearing the way for the construction of the museum's "New Building for the Permanent Collection."
The new construction, designed by architect Peter Zumthor, calls for the construction of an amorphous two-story, 350,000-square-foot building spanning across Wilshire Boulevard.
An environmental report conducted for LACMA estimates that construction will occur over approximately 51 months, concluding in 2023.
While local elected officials have espoused their support for LACMA, the project provided much fodder for critics during 2019.
In March, the publication of a final environmental impact report revealed that LACMA had reduced the scale of the proposed building by approximately 50,000 square feet - meaning that it would offer slightly less exhibition space than the William Pereira and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates structures it is set to replace.
The impetus for the shrinking footprint was later revealed to be a swelling budget. Originally billed as a $600-million project, the project's price tag was officially adjusted to $650 million in 2019. The Los Angeles Times reports that LACMA's internal cost estimate for the building is now $750 million.
LACMA's new building is the largest in a series of monumental projects taking shape on the Miracle Mile, including the nearly $400-million Academy Museum of Motion Pictures - set to open this year on Fairfax Avenue - and the proposed revamp of the La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Page Museum.
Beneath Wilshire Boulevard, work is underway for another transformative project - the extension of Metro's Purple Line subway - which is slated to open a station at Fairfax in 2023.
- LACMA (Urbanize LA)