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LACMA demolition: Three buildings down, one more begins tear-down

LACMA's Art of the Americas Building in its final stages of demolition.
LACMA’s Art of the Americas Building, in the final stages of demolition. Tear-down has begun on the adjacent Ahmanson Building. The Pavilion for Japanese Art in the foreground will remain.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

And then there was one.

The Ahmanson Building is the last standing structure of four buildings being demolished at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The Leo S. Bing Center is completely gone; construction workers are removing the foundations of the Hammer and Art of the Americas buildings.

Demolition of the Ahmanson began this week, museum representative Jessica Youn said Tuesday, and should be completed “in the last quarter” of this year. As the Ahmanson comes down, excavation and construction of new building foundations is taking place in other areas. Clark Construction workers are this week tearing up the Spaulding parking lot, across Wilshire Boulevard, which will also make way for construction of the new building — a 300-seat theater and cafe will occupy that space.

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The $750-million building project, Youn said, is on schedule, with the completion planned for the end of 2023. The new Peter Zumthor-designed building has stirred controversy for its square footage as well as its cost. A symbolic groundbreaking, she added, will be set “when possible given the pandemic.”

Here’s a look at this pivotal moment in the museum demolition.

Demolition of the Art of the Americas Building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The demolition of the Art of the Americas Building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
Another view of the Art of the Americas Building being torn down.
Another view of the Art of the Americas during its tear-down.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
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Remnants of the Art of the Americas Building during demolition at LACMA.
Remnants of the Art of the Americas Building. The last remaining building to be demolished, the Ahmanson, is starting to come down this week.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)


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