Four months after it became official, the demolition process is wrapping up at LACMA's Miracle Mile campus.
In a controversial move, the museum has razed three of its original William Pereira-designed buildings as well as a Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer-designed expansion to make way for a dramatic revamp by architect Peter Zumthor. Plans call for the construction of a two-story structure spanning across Wilshire Boulevard, featuring roughly 350,000 square feet of floor area within its undulating footprint.
The project will officially be known as the David Geffen Galleries, in honor of one of its principal donors.
The full demolition and construction process expected to occur over an approximately 51-months, with completion scheduled to occur in 2023.
While LACMA's plan, spearheaded by museum director Michael Govan, has received the support of elected officials within both the City and County of Los Angeles, the demolition of the Pereira-designed building and the project's swelling price tag has led to pushback by some in the preservation and architecture communities.
Originally build as a $650-million plan, the estimated cost of the Zumthor building now officially stands at $750 million. One report, citing internal e-mails between Los Angeles County officials, cautioned that the eventual price tag of the revamp could run as high as $900 million.
Pushback against the Zumthor building has spawned at least two protest organizations, one of which coordinated a design competition for six alternatives to the current plan.
Besides LACMA, several other Miracle Mile institutions have recently undergone substantial redesigns over the past year - highlighted by the Petersen Museum as Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.
On the opposite side of Wilshire, to the west of the LACMA campus, construction is in the home stretch at the $400-million Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is now scheduled to open in 2021 due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
East of LACMA, the County selected architecture firm Weiss/Manfredi in 2019 to lead a new master plan for the La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Page Museum.
- LACMA (Urbanize LA)