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Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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stories along The Way

Friday, July 2, 2010

Autry to redesign Griffith Park facility, SW Museum left out of plans

The Autry announces a new new project... redesigning the Griffith Park facility but this time within its existing footprint. The SW Museum is still completely screwed in the redesign as the Autry continues to ignore the terms of its merger with the SW Museum.

So, um, we guess the threat by the Autry to leave town was exactly that, a threat. Aren't you just totally surprised?

What follows is Brenda Levin's somewhat nauseating press release on the subject.


Transformation of Griffith Park Facility by Levin & Associates Will Add 25,000 Square Feet and Offer Stunning Showcase for the Autry’s Collections New Building in Burbank Designed by Chu + Gooding Will  Serve as Autry Research and Resource Center

LOS ANGELES, CA June 30, 2010– Moving forward with its ambitious plan  to create a major new intercultural center, where it will bring together and honor the stories of all the peoples of the American West, the Autry National Center today announced plans for two major architectural projects. The Autry will transform its existing Griffith Park campus into a cultural attraction for Los Angeles, designed by the distinguished firm of Levin & Associates. The Autry will also purchase a new building in Burbank and work with Chu + Gooding to create a new Research and Resource Center. Through the $75 million, seven year project, the Autry will bring its collections and exhibitions to the public as never before.

Over the past year, the Autry has worked closely with Brenda Levin, Principal of Levin & Associates, on a planning study for the Griffith Park facility. The study determined that if the Autry is to dramatically increase and modernize its galleries in the existing building, it must free up spaces on the first floor that are currently used for offices, conservation laboratories and collection storage. To achieve this goal, the Autry will establish an off-site Research and Resource Center, which will accommodate its curatorial offices, laboratories, research libraries and approximately 500,000 artworks and artifacts that have been stored until now in both the Griffith Park and Mt. Washington facilities.

Brenda Levin’s plan will open up the first-floor level of the museum, adding 25,000 square feet of gallery space. These new galleries, scheduled to begin opening in 2013, will allow for the presentation of multiple exhibitions. Highlights include First Californians, a permanent gallery devoted to the story of Native Americans living in the West before European settlers arrived; a new gallery space for rotating exhibitions of the Southwest Museum’s outstanding Native American Collection; and a redesign of the outdoor landscape area now called Trails West.

The new Autry Research and Resource Center will be a two-story, 100,000-square-foot structure located on Victory Boulevard in Burbank, approximately 2.5 miles from Griffith Park. Its primary use will be to provide state-of-the-art, museum-quality storage for the Autry’s extensive collections of art and artifacts and library materials. The Autry’s Institute for the Study for the American West, which encompasses the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library, will move to the Research and Resource Center. A reading room will be open to the public by appointment.

The collections now stored at the Southwest Museum building in Mount Washington will also be moved over time into the Research and Resource Center. This move will ensure that these priceless artifacts and pieces of artwork are maintained under pristine conditions; that they remain safely accessible to scholars and researchers; and that the Autry’s curators can select from them for exhibitions and installations. Gallery space in the Southwest Museum is currently being used for expanding much need conservation and preservation work on the collection. The Autry expects this conservation project to be completed at the end of 2013. The Autry is currently seeking partnerships with educational, cultural or civic organizations to develop future programs suitable to the Southwest Museum site.