The Imaginary Landscape

Thursday, January 26, 2006

LACMA Phase I Press Release

Here's a press release on phase I of LACMA's expansion plan. It also goes into detail about the last 2 phases of the project.

BTW, the Getty Villa opens this saturday. If you haven't gotten your tickets yet, you'll have to wait till July!

First Phase of Construction to Transform LACMA Campus and Visitor Experience Begins; $172 Million Raised in Support of Full Project and Endowment

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 26, 2006--The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has begun construction on Phase I of its comprehensive building program to expand, upgrade, and unify its six-building, 20-acre campus. The design, developed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with the museum, will dramatically transform LACMA by creating new exhibition galleries, public spaces, and gardens, as well as a new building devoted to exhibiting contemporary art. The expansion and upgrade will enable LACMA to better present its outstanding permanent collection and create a more meaningful experience for the full range of its visitors.

To date LACMA has raised $172 million for Transformation: The LACMA Campaign, the museum's capital campaign, which encompasses the expansion and upgrade as well as a doubling of the museum's endowment. The multi-phase project will strengthen LACMA's role as the premier encyclopedic public museum in the western United States and one of the foremost art museums in the world.

The current project builds on LACMA's successful efforts over the last ten years, which have included the development of dynamic and highly successful new public programs, deeper engagement with L.A.'s diverse communities, strategically building and enhancing the museum's permanent collection, and a systematic strengthening of the institution's finances.

"With Phase I well underway, our campaign now focuses on Phases II and III and our commitment to doubling the museum's endowment," said Nancy Daly Riordan, LACMA Board Chair. "During its short history, LACMA has made remarkable strides toward establishing itself as a leader in the national and international arts community, and the Board of Trustees is committed to securing LACMA's place as the premier museum of the 21st century."

Over 80% of the museum's trustees have contributed to the ongoing fund-raising campaign -- a total of $132 million. Recent gifts and pledges include:
-- $25 million from Lynda and Stewart Resnick;
-- $23.9 million bequest to establish the Anna H. Bing Children's Art Foundation Endowment;
-- $3 million from Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Kendall;
-- $1 million from BP America Incorporated;
-- $1 million from Mrs. Harry Lenart;
-- $1 million from Ressler/Gertz Family Foundation;
-- $1 million from Marc and Eva Stern Foundation;
-- $500,000 from John and Gail Liebes;
-- $500,000 from Tally and Bill Mingst;
-- $500,000 from Johnson Controls.

An additional $1 million has been received from estate gifts earmarked for the endowment.
"The transformation of LACMA is deeply rooted in our mission to reach all audiences and to make art come alive for them and be relevant in new ways," said Melody Kanschat, LACMA President. "The Renzo Piano design creates a facility that will be welcoming to all and will provide state-of-the-art spaces in which to exhibit our growing permanent collection."

New Design -- Phase I
Better integrating LACMA's buildings and entire campus, the new design enables visitors to easily travel through galleries, gardens, and plazas to explore the museum's collections and educational resources. Visitors will be able to see LACMA's permanent collection chronologically or within the framework of European, American, Asian, or Contemporary Centers of Art. The first phase of the program, budgeted at $145 million, is scheduled to be completed in 2007. Site preparation began in late 2005, with completion of construction scheduled for 2007.

Highlights of Phase I include:

-- The Lynda and Stewart Resnick Grand Entrance Pavilion at LACMA, a new, 20,000-square-foot, glass-enclosed pavilion and adjacent patios that serve as the museum's main entrance and as a public plaza.
-- A covered concourse linking the western and eastern sections of the 20-acre, 1/3-mile-long campus.
-- The Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA, a new building with 60,000 square feet of gallery space designed to exhibit contemporary art.
-- The revitalization and renovation of the Ahmanson Building lower level galleries and Atrium, including the creation of a dramatic, sky-lit, 60-by-60-foot space for music performances, lectures, and other public events and gatherings.
-- Public plazas opening onto Wilshire Boulevard to the south and Hancock Park to the north.
-- The expansion of Hancock Park.
-- A new underground parking garage.

-- A unified facade along Wilshire Boulevard that provides a coherent and welcoming public face for the museum and unifies existing architecture from the last seven decades.
LACMA is the first major encyclopedic museum to make contemporary art one of its principal areas of activity. The creation of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA is a central component of the mission to fully integrate contemporary art into LACMA's collecting strategy, exhibitions, and public programs, and to explore the interplay of the art of our time with that of the past. With an exceptional concentration of artists, art schools, galleries, collectors, and arts institutions, Los Angeles has emerged as one of the great centers of contemporary art. LACMA plays a vital role in supporting and fostering this dynamic and influential community.

LACMA Centers and Collections -- Phase II
In Phase II, the collections will be reinstalled in ways that enhance the visitor's experience. The works of art are being reorganized into four centers. With the addition of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, LACMA will have the space to dedicate individual facilities to each of the four areas:

-- Center for European Art -- housed in the Ahmanson Building
-- Center for Asian Art -- located in the Hammer Building and the Pavilion for Japanese Art
-- Center for Art of the Americas -- in Modern and Contemporary Building (formerly the Anderson Building)
-- Center for Contemporary Art -- in the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA

In the project's second phase, the permanent collection will be reinstalled in newly renovated and reorganized galleries. Enlarged special exhibition spaces will be designated in higher-level floors, ensuring that plaza-level galleries are always filled with artworks and open to the public. This will also encourage visitors to explore the permanent collection and make unexpected discoveries as they travel through the galleries.

During the last decade, LACMA's collections have grown and diversified along with the city. A strategic initiative to acquire works with special relevance to the heritage of the people of Los Angeles -- one of the country's most diverse cities -- has resulted in the acquisition of important collections of Korean, Mexican, Islamic, and Chinese art, along with major European works. The museum's permanent collection spans cultures across time and across the globe. Among the highlights are:

-- An exceptional collection of works by 20th-century Mexican artists
-- The largest collection of Korean art outside Asia
-- The foremost collection of Old Master paintings in the western U.S.
-- One of the world's finest collections of Islamic art
-- Extensive Pre-Columbian collections
-- In-depth holdings of South and Southeast Asian art

LACMA West -- Phase III
Phase III will focus on the reconfiguration of LACMA West. The former May Company Department Store will be used for expanded galleries, facilities, and administrative space. This includes:

-- A "nerve center" for new media and photography that promotes experimentation with new technology and the arts.
-- Enlarged facilities and galleries tailored for programs for children, young people, and families.
-- A floor for special facilities for the museum's collections of photography, costumes and textiles, and prints and drawings.
-- New spaces for the LACMA library, enhancing accessibility and use by students, scholars, and the public.
-- Curatorial and administrative offices.
-- A second major special exhibition hall, providing an additional 15,000 square feet of flexible gallery space.
-- An elegant rooftop Conference Center, special event facilities, and gourmet restaurant.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Misc Stuff

LA Live Update

KB Homes have decided to partner up with AEG to build a 50 story hotel/condo near the convention center after one of the investors bailed out. The ground breaking is still on tap for this summer with completion expected sometime in 2008.

Dior Earnings

Christian Dior just announced it earnings for 2005 and with sales of $825.7 million, its edging closer to its goal of becoming a $1B company. It plans to open up 10-15 stores this year, including a Dior Homme store in Beverly Hills.

New Concepts

Expect to see more new store concepts from familiar retailer by the end of this year. Gap is expecting to roll out a couple more of it's Forth and Towne store. The store is targeting women in their 30s/40s who have outgrown the Gap & Banana Republic.
There are current 4 locations-3 in Illinois and 1 in NY.

In the meantime, Abercrombie & Fitch is busy with it Reulh store which caters to an older crowd than A&F.

Not to be outdone, Martin+Osa is American Outfitters answer to Banana Republic.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A Major Re-Cap

I can't believe it's been almost 2 months since my last post. Time has just flown by hasn't it?
A lot has happened, so lets just let started.

Westfield Century City
In mid December, the shopping center unveiled its new AMC Theatre and a new dinning terrace (don't you dare call it a food court). The new space is bright and very hip and modern. Gone are paper plates and plastic utinsils. In their place are real china and silverware. I was really impress.

Here's a picture

H&M First 2 SoCal Locations Confirmed

Just last friday, the SF Chronicle announced that H&M will open 2 LA store by fall 2006. One will be on Colorado Blvd in Pasadena, while the other will be at the Beverly Center. The article also stated that he company would like to open 3 additional stores at that time. I love to speculate, so here goes...the additional stores will be at South Coast Plaza, Third Street Promenade, and Westfield Topanga. We'll know if I'm right in a couple of months.

LACMA Starts Phase I Expansion

About 4 weeks ago, I drove past Los Angeles County Museum of Art and saw what looked like land preparation for the first of a three phase expansion plan. Phase I will include a centralized Entry/Welcome pavilion enclosed in glass. Next to it will be the 3 storey BCAM (Broad Contempory Art Museum). Both structures should be completed by fall of 2007.

Barney's Opening New Flagship in Dallas

Barney's will open an new 88,000 sq ft store in Dallas. This come almost a decade after it left the Dallas market. The store will be a contrast to the previous 11,000 sq ft store it had in the city, not only in terms of size, but sevice and selection. Many people felt the company did not under stand what the dallas market wanted--the store offered lots of black, when people wanted colors.

The store will be located at the Nortpark Center mall in the former Lord and Taylor site.

Glendale Galleria Renovation

After losing the battle to prevent Caruso from building a Grove-like center next to the Galleria, the mall owner, General Growth has decided to renovate the aging mall. Plans are still scetchy, but the renovation should cost around $30 million and will likely include an extensive redesign of the interior and exterior of the center to make it more inviting.

I find this very welcoming new after my last visit about 2 months ago. The center just felt so outdated. Eventhough there were skylights, the extensive dark bricks used throughout just cast and ominous glow to the place.

Construction of Westside Too Begins....Finally!!

I can't believe it, but it's true--the redevelopment of the Westside Too at the Westside Pavilion has begun. The section of the mall, just west of Overland is now closed, including Barnes & Noble. The construction should last a year and a half.

When it finally opens in mid 2007, patrons will new restaurants and a new 12 screen Landmark Theatre. At that time the current 4 screen will close. Also B&N will be back.