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Plan for Broad museum unveiled in downtown LA

January 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Billionaire philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad officially unveiled designs for their new museum in downtown Los Angeles.The Walt Disney Concert Hall will share Grand Avenue with the new architectural landmark. Computer animation shows what the building will look like.

The Broad will be a contemporary art museum covered by a honeycomb veil three stories high, where not only will some of the art collection be on display, but the rest that's not out on loan will be stored in a vault that partially hangs over the lobby.

The design was revealed with a lot of fanfare at Walt Disney Concert Hall, where more than 200 people came to get a first look.

"Today is not just about a building. It's about the creation of a new public museum some 40 years in the making," said Eli Broad.

The Broads have been collecting art for 40 years, focusing on newer and sometimes controversial pieces.

The museum will cost about $100 million to build, with the foundation pledging a $200 million endowment.

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, the philanthropist explained his decision for the new museum.

"We love this city and we've been involved in this city and Grand Avenue going back to 1979, so we thought it was the ideal spot for a new public museum," said Broad.

Broad has already spent millions on a contemporary art museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art--the BCAM, which will not keep the Broad collection on permanent display.

"We have 2,000 works of art in the collections and the most they could've ever shown is like 150 works or so," said Broad.

Even with the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art across the street, the new Broad will not be in competition. It will loan some of its 2,000 pieces of art there, too.

"I'm convinced Los Angeles has become the contemporary art capital of the world," said Broad.

With that vision, it's not surprising the Broad plans to break ground in just a few months. Because financing is not an issue, Eli Broad predicts the museum will replace the current parking lot in about two years.