LACMA Has Raised $736M for Zumthor Building
|Rendering of Peter Zumthor's David Geffen Galleries, LACMA. Bruce Goff's Japanese Pavilion is at far right|
LACMA has raised $736 million for its Wilshire-spanning permanent collection building, the David Geffen Galleries. That is 98 percent of the announced goal of $750 million.
The Peter Zumthor-designed structure has drawn controversy for the Swiss architect's arguably cringe homage to L.A. car culture; the building's relatively modest square footage and wall space; and Michael Govan's plan to eliminate "permanent" galleries in favor of changing, thematic installations of the permanent collection. Much of the sniping has devolved into speculation about the project's finances. In a 2019 L.A. Review of Books article architect Joseph Giovannini used somewhat creative accounting to frame the Zumthor project as a billion-plus-dollar money pit (counting "capitalized" and "soft" costs). The only remedy, said Giovannini, would be to "sell the Rembrandts."
Perhaps the most encouraging thing about the LACMA announcement is that the museum didn't move the goalpost yet again. The campaign began with a $600 million goal, and this was raised to $650 million and $750 million. At the current pace of fund raising, the goal could be reached in a month or so.
A museum spokesperson told the L.A. Times that construction is (still) expected to be completed in late 2024. Mark that on your calendar as a 2025 opening.