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Children's Museum Invites Local Advisory Panel to Assist in Selection of Architect

Preservation Initiative Complements Save America's Treasures

October 8, 1999

LOS ANGELES--The Children’s Museum of Los Angeles has invited Architecture LA, a new alliance of senior leaders from the city’s arts and educational institutions, to serve as an advisory panel to assist the Children’s Museum board of trustees in selecting an architect for a new museum located next to Griffith Park.

Under the chairmanship of Ira E. Yellin, a community activist with a long involvement in the city’s architectural heritage, Architecture LA will serve as an advisory panel to support the Children’s Museum’s planning efforts. The members of Architecture LA are: Richard Koshalek, President, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena; Sylvia Lavin, Chair, Department of Architecture and Urban Design, University of California, Los Angeles; Steven D. Lavine, President, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia; Stephen D. Rountree, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, The J. Paul Getty Trust; Robert Sain, Director, LACMALab, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Jeremy Strick, Director, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Robert H. Timme, Dean, School of Architecture, University of Southern California. Robert Hale from the Los Angeles chapter of The American Institute of Architects serves as an advisor to Architecture LA.

The project involves the design of a structure of 80,000 square feet plus a basement, to be located adjacent to Griffith Park. The Children’s Museum seeks a facility that is noteworthy and innovative in architectural terms and expresses Los Angeles in the 21st century. The final design would be engaging for both children and adults, but it would be identifiable in form as a building for and about children.

Working with Architecture LA, the Children’s Museum has distributed a request for qualifications to the local architectural community. The request for qualifications calls for architects who have had principal responsibility for previous institutional work of comparable scale and complexity. Architects must also be capable of providing comprehensive design services, including construction documents and construction supervision. The request for qualifications is available over the Internet at www.ArchitectureLA.org or by calling Architecture LA at 310/440-7007. The deadline for submission is November 1, 1999.

The Museum’s 28-member board of trustees will be responsible for final selection of an architectural firm from the recommendation of Architecture LA. An architect will be selected during the fall of 1999, with the design phase of the project beginning shortly thereafter. The groundbreaking target date is 2001, and construction is estimated to be completed 12 to 18 months later. The budget for the design and construction of the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles, including exhibition design, is $40 million.

Architecture LA has hopes that its involvement with the Children’s Museum project will serve as a model to encourage thoughtful and compelling architecture for future Los Angeles public buildings. Yellin, chair of Architecture LA, states, "We are honored to play an advisory role to the Children’s Museum’s selection of an architect and we stand ready to assist in other similar civic and cultural projects."

"This is an exciting opportunity as we’re seeing a number of quality architectural projects emerge while we’re also seeing an expanding pool of younger architects, many of whom are products of Los Angeles colleges and universities," said UCLA’s Lavin.

Rountree of the Getty Trust adds, "The Getty is proud to serve as the home base in assisting with the administrative process of this important architectural initiative."

The Children’s Museum of Los Angeles is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1979. The Museum currently occupies a 17,000-square-foot structure in downtown Los Angeles that is rented from the City of Los Angeles. The Museum offers interactive exhibitions that allow for a hands-on experience with its collections. The new Children’s Museum of Los Angeles is projected to draw 1,000,000 visitors in its first year.

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