If you are a lover of the Arts or even if you are not a trip to the Los Angeles just would not be complete with out a visit to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This museum is located only a couple of blocks walking distance from the Hotel.
Be sure to stop at the front desk to inquire about any special the museum might be running with the hotel.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art was established as a museum in 1961.
The museum was built in a style similar to Lincoln Center and the Los Angeles Music Center and consisted of three buildings: the Ahmanson Building, the Bing Center, and the Lytton Gallery (renamed the Frances and Armand Hammer Building in 1968). The board selected LA architect William Pereira over the directors’ recommendation of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the buildings. The LA Music Center and LACMA were concurrent large civic projects which vied for attention and donors in Los Angeles.
To house its growing collections of modern and contemporary art, and to provide more space for exhibitions, the museum hired the architectural firm of Hardy, Holzman, Pfeiffer Associates to design its Robert O. Anderson Building, which opened in 1986 (renamed the Art of the Americas Building in 2007).
The museum’s Pavilion for Japanese Art, designed by maverick architect Bruce Goff, opened in 1988, as did the B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Garden of Rodin bronzes. In 1994, LACMA purchased the adjacent May Department Stores building, an impressive example of streamline moderne architecture designed by Albert C. Martin Sr. LACMA West increased the museum’s size by 30 percent when the building opened in 1998.
In 2004, LACMA’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved plans to transform the museum, led by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. The transformation consists of three phases. Phase I started in 2004 and was completed in February 2008. Phase III is scheduled to be completed toward the end of 2010.
On March 6, 2007, BP announced a $25 million donation to name the entry pavilion under construction as part of LACMA’s renovation campaign the “BP Grand Entrance.” Solar panels atop the pavilion attempt to cast BP as an environmental innovator. The $25 million gift matches Walt Disney Co.’s 1997 gift for Disney Hall as the biggest corporate donation to the arts in Southern California. Previously, in 2006, LACMA had announced that the new entrance would be called the “Lynda and Stewart Resnick Grand Entrance Pavilion,” in honor of their $25 million gift.
The glass-encased entry pavilion is a key point in architect Renzo Piano’s plan to unify LACMA’s sprawling, often confusing layout of buildings. The BP Grand Entrance and the adjacent Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) comprise the $191 million (originally $150 million) first phase of the three-part expansion and renovation campaign. BCAM is named for Eli & Edythe Broad, who gave $60 million to LACMA’s campaign; Mr. Broad also serves on LACMA’s Board of Directors. BCAM opened on February 16, 2008.
(An earlier plan for LACMA’s transformation by architect Rem Koolhaas proposed razing all the current buildings and constructing an entirely new museum.) Phase I of the Renzo Piano renovations required demolishing the parking structure on Ogden Avenue and with it LACMA-commissioned graffiti art by street artists Margaret Kilgallen and Barry McGee.
On February 2, 2007, LACMA’s director, Michael Govan, with artist Jeff Koons, revealed plans for a massive 161-foot-tall sculpture featuring an operational 1940s locomotive suspended from a crane. The sculpture would be located at the entrance on Wilshire Boulevard, between the Ahmanson Building and the Broad Contemporary Art Museum.
In November 2009, plans were made public that Michael Govan was working with Swiss architect and Pritzker Prize laureate Peter Zumthor on plans for rebuilding the eastern section of the campus from the two new Renzo Piano buildings to the tar pits.