Responding to community fears about the possible loss of the Southwest Museum, Mayor Richard Riordan on Tuesday announced the city's commitment to keep the museum at its historic home in Mount Washington.
Southwest officials are considering various solutions to the institution's long-standing space problems--including proposals to move to other Southern California cities--but Riordan said Los Angeles cannot afford to lose the museum.
"More than any other museum, the Southwest Museum captures the history of this great city," Riordan said at a press conference. "We're going to make it a priority (to keep it here) and make it better." A committee will be established to address the museum's facilities and fund-raising needs, he said.
City Councilman Mike Hernandez also expressed support for retaining the cultural landmark and revealed plans to make it the cornerstone of a park and historic corridor.
In thanking the city for its support, Southwest Museum Director Thomas H. Wilson kept the museum's options open. "We will consider the response of the city in light of the other responses we have received from our request for proposals," he said.