LACMA’s New $650M Building Approved by County Supervisors

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A rendering shows the LACMA Building for the Permanent Collection. (Credit: Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner / The Boundary via Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s proposed $650 million new home received final approval Tuesday from the county Board of Supervisors, who voted unanimously to provide key funding as art-world notables including Brad Pitt and Diane Keaton turned out to support the LACMA plans.

The five supervisors’ vote certified the new building’s final environmental impact report, approved demolition of four existing LACMA buildings and greenlighted $117.5 million in county funds toward construction.

Recently released revisions to the Peter Zumthor design showing a 10% reduction in building size provoked sharp criticism over per-square-foot costs that are 35% or more higher than recent museum projects in L.A. and San Francisco. Artist Oscar Pena spoke out at the meeting Tuesday calling the LACMA proposal “a half baked design” and urging supervisors not to “rush into mediocrity.”

But supporters including artist Thomas Houseago, Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Director Kerry Brougher and Vincent Price Art Museum director Pilar Tompkins Rivas appeared at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration downtown Tuesday to support LACMA and Zumthor’s design.

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