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Getty Center: Changing the Complexion of Los Angeles

February 08, 1998

"The New Getty" issue (Dec. 7) was absolutely superb--well worth all the work that must have gone into it. Thanks for preparing us for an overwhelming experience by giving us a reference tool for museum visits. I'm marking up the magazine to remind me of what to be on the watch for when I ultimately visit the Getty.

In the meantime, I'm blessed with an overwhelming panoramic view of the Getty from my high-rise apartment.

Sherry Terzian

Los Angeles

*

Your Getty Center coverage was so friendly and helpful. Everything was written with clarity and humor. I tend to skip lists of statistics, but I was delighted to learn, among other things, how many hamburgers were consumed by workers dur- ing the construction.

The pictures were gorgeous, the headlines witty. The entire issue was chock-full of easy-to-understand data on everything a visitor would need to know. When we visit the Getty, I'll be bringing my copy.

I expected to feel awed and out-of-place at such a grand complex. But the magazine's coverageput me at ease. I now feel welcome at our new landmark, which is changing the whole complexion of Los Angeles.

Gloria N. Cuadra

Los Angeles

*

What a treasure the new Getty is: a detached white cathedral of high culture, where the moneyed can reverently come to terms with their accumulations and the lowland plebes can be exposed to good taste for free. And what a fine, wide hilltop target it presents for those who believe that art does not exist in a separate world.

Nathan Callahan

Irvine

*

By creating an immense ivory tower, those in charge of building the Getty undoubtedly got a big bang for the buck and a monument to themselves, rather than to John Paul Getty. But they certainly did not get the most mileage from their dollars in terms of art education, furthering art history or the other aims stipulated in Getty's will. A far more judicious doling out of dollars would have accomplished that. For the kind of money available, this country might have been treated to five or 10 new libraries with equal holdings. These could have been created by large donations that would supplement existing public and university libraries in various locales, thus benefiting a huge number of people.

I, myself, and Los Angeles will reap rewards from the new museum. But had the Getty money been used for the type of program pursued by the Kress Foundation--which distributed building funds, grants, scholarships and even its collections around the country--an even greater good could have been realized.

Michael A. Jacobson

Simi Valley

*

How about handicap access to the museum? Are there ramps or elevators where the tram ends? Id like to know how physically taxing the sprawling grounds would be to a person in a wheelchair o walker.

Mary Mucci Bush

Pasadena

*

Editor's note: Visitors' reports and assurances from the Getty Center indicate that the museum, with its multitude of elevators and ramps, is absolutely user-friendly to those with walkers, strollers and wheelchairs. General information can be obtained by telephone at (310) 440-7300. For a special line for the hearing-impaired, dial (310) 440-7305.

*

Yes, we are fortunate to live in Los Angeles, yet I was deeply saddened to read that one possible site for the Getty had been the Ambassador Hotel property. Given that we live in such a polarized environment--west versus east sides, haves versus have-nots--locating a new major cultural center in the heart of the city would have made it more accessible to many people who might be daunted by the drive to Brentwood or who might consider traveling that far by public transportation out of reach.

Linda Diamond

Los Angeles

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