A Modest Proposal: Move Pereira LACMA to Irvine
|William Pereira, second from left, with Master Plan for UC Irvine|
|Granville Redmond's "California Landscape with Flowers" (c. 1925), Irvine Museum|
Hey—Pereira designed another art museum in the 1960s, and it's about to be torn down! Yes, LACMA would probably let UC Irvine cart away its Pereira buildings for free.
• It would placate the Restore-and-Don't-Replace-the-Pereira crowd.
• As a thought experiment, moving LACMA 50 miles on the 405 would get more free media and social net hits than the Heizer rock and Endeavour space shuttle put together.
• OK, they couldn't realistically move the whole building. They might move part of it. MoMA saved the 63 Tod Williams-Billie Tsien copper-bronze panels of the American Folk Art Museum facade, presumably so that they might one day find a worthy home. What part of Pereira-LACMA should be preserved as iconic? Anybody???
Frank Gehry's 1986 computer science building was demolished.
• The Ahmanson Building, or even a small portion of it, has far more space than Irvine needs, allowing plenty of room for future expansion (more than can be said for Zumthor-LACMA). If UC Irvine is serious about a world-class museum, it won't get there on California Impressionism alone.
(Below, a still from 1972's Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, shot against Pereira's Irvine brutalism.)