Central Los Angeles : MUSEUM EXPANSION


Japanese American National Museum officials and the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission are planning to expand the museum to a new building in Little Tokyo.

A presentation to the commission on the 80,000-square-foot building is scheduled for Jan. 18, said Chris Komai, the museum’s spokesman.

The location of the new building will be at 1st and Alameda streets, across the street from the museum.


One issue that will be discussed at the commission’s meeting is how the modern building will fit into the historic location, he said. The museum, which opened in 1992, was formerly a Buddhist temple, Komai said.

When the Japanese American National Museum organization was founded in 1985, he said, the trustees had a vision to build a larger facility.

The firm of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, which designed the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, is working on the design of the building, Komai said.

Half of the $20 million needed to construct the building has been raised so far, he said.