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Bright New Place for Kids' Stuff

September 09, 1999

For two decades the Los Angeles Children's Museum has been housed in a space intended for a Japanese restaurant in the busy Civic Center area, and serving up to 200,000 kids and their parents annually in that cramped and increasingly worn-out setting is no longer viable. Fortunately, the search for a new home for the museum--ongoing for more than a decade--has turned up a perfect spot, and the museum should soon be reestablished on city-owned land near the fountain at the southeast entrance to Griffith Park.

This central site would be easily accessible from the San Fernando Valley, Glendale, East Los Angeles, downtown and South-Central. It would have a grassy area and safe parking for cars and buses, both lacking in the current location.

Next Wednesday, when the Parks and Recreation Commission convenes a hearing on the proposal, there will be some voices in opposition, including residents concerned with traffic congestion at an already busy intersection. The Department of Public Works concurs that traffic is heavy in the area but says the museum would not be a significant factor because it would not add much rush-hour traffic.

The City Council has allocated $9.4 million of Proposition K funds to construct the museum, and museum directors hope the Legislature will allocate $1 million. But the museum board needs to move promptly to raise up to $30 million more for exhibits, operations and additional construction costs. Site approval will start the process of giving L.A. children a new window to their world.

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