LACMA Plan Not Terrible, Still Wrong

LACMA is set to reveal its grand plan next week to destroy the original three classic mid-century buildings and replace them with a self-described “ink blot.” The museum gave a sneak peak to the Los Angeles Times, and while it’s not half bad, it’s still completely wrong.

I won’t go into detail here about the features of the structure (you can read all about it here¬†and see pictures below), but anything that would eliminate the original buildings is not a plan worth considering.

You know where the building would have looked great? — the giant swath of land where that stupid rock now sits. I walked through there again the other day; what a waste of space.

This is nothing more than a vanity project for LACMA chief Michael Govan. He wants to leave his mark on LACMA and Los Angeles, and he thinks destroying the past is a great place to start. I have no beef with “starchitect” Peter Zumthor; he was hired to design a building. But as an architect, you’d think he would be sensitive to tearing down old buildings that have some significance.

In making his case, Govan will likely say that the old buildings are outdated and the museum needs more exhibit space in order to thrive and survive into the future. The answer to this is simple — why didn’t he make use of the old May Department Store building before handing it over to the Oscars folks? Has anyone ever seen an exhibit in there?

I’ll say what I’ve been saying for years now — tear down the horrendous Art of Americas Building and restore the old plaza and the original buildings to their former glory.

Someone has just started up a Facebook page called “Save and Restore the Original LACMA Buildings” that is advancing that very idea. I suggest you sign up and join the fight.

Here are the photos of the proposal:



They love to stress how it looks like an ink blot from above. First of all, unless you work in the Variety building, no one will ever see it from above.


And secondly, if you were going to view LACMA from above, does that really look better than this?: