Ma Yansong of MAD Architects has released new renderings for the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Exposition Park. The projected $1 billion cost rivals that of the Getty Center and could conceivably make it the most expensive museum ever constructed on the West Coast.
Museums almost never come in under budget. The Lucas' complex design suggests it will not be an exception. Note that Richard Meier's Getty Center tripled in cost over the course of construction. It was pegged at at just $360 million in 1991, and a reported $1.3 billion after completion, which would be just short of $2 billion in today's dollars. It wouldn't take much overrun for the Lucas to cost more than the Getty, in nominal dollars at least.