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Letters: Making the most of LACMA

June 06, 2013

Re "LACMA's future unfurls," June 2

The preliminary design by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor for a new Los Angeles County Museum of Art is visionary. However, the current plan has a big flaw: It wouldn't fit on the site of the buildings it would replace and would crowd the adjacent Hancock Park, reducing it to a mere landscaped "side yard" along 6th Street.

The park is the last little scrap of green for miles around. Like most public spaces in Los Angeles, it has been nibbled away at over the decades. A few more square feet of buildings and Hancock Park will no longer hold together as a significant, cohesive public space and will be reduced to a kind of suburban garnish around LACMA.

LACMA Director Michael Govan would be wise to not let the museum expansion be seen as a land grab. As the very evocative and beautiful design concept is developed, a tenet should be zero loss of public park space.

John Trautmann

Los Angeles

Raising and spending an exorbitant $450 million to tear down the iconic Pereira and Hardy buildings, plus $200 million for a contingency plan, is the only thing "powerfully unorthodox" about this idea. If it's true that it would cost $300 million to renovate the existing buildings, which do need a major overhaul, then why not go that route?

The eclectic landscape of LACMA's current campus feels like it's living, breathing and smiling, unlike the proposed odd, cold-looking structure.

I'm glad Govan and Zumthor were not around 50 short years after the Louvre was created.

Steve Shrager

Sherman Oaks

Forgive me for saying so, but this proposed LACMA design — which architect Peter Zumthor has nicknamed "the Black Flower" — resembles more a "Glob of Goop" than any flower I've ever seen. Where is Frank Gehry when we need him?

Toby Keeler



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