A conceptual design of the Armenian American Museum, which its founders hope will one day be a hub of culture and education, was presented to the Glendale City Council on Tuesday.
The renderings of the 30,000-square-foot site came a year after the council initially asked a collective of Armenian organizations to come back with a plan.
Initial responses from the dais were receptive to the design, poised to be built on a 1.7-acre parking lot next to the Glendale Civic Auditorium and across the street from Glendale Community College.
“It’s a very exciting process, we can see it now. It’s palpable. It’s something that we’ve all been looking forward to,” said Mayor Ara Najarian.
“It’s a wonderful and excellent location that will put Glendale on the map even more in terms of the museum and the recognition of the culture,” he said.
The exterior of the building was made to resemble the mountains of the immediate area and Armenia, said architect Aram Alajajian.
Organizers hope to one day house permanent and traveling art exhibits, a theatrical performance area and serve as a research facility.
“It will enrich the community and educate the public on the Armenian-American story and empower individuals to embrace cultural diversity and speak out against prejudice,” said Berdj Karapetian, chair of the museum project development committee.
The museum project is an arm of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee, which is made up of nine regional Armenian-American institutions and organizations.
Engaging in lease negotiations with the city is the next step, and that will likely begin early next year, said Tigranna Zakaryan, the museum’s outreach director.
Councilwoman Laura Friedman said she has no doubt the project will be built because there’s so much passion behind it.
“It’s hard to think of a project that’s more exciting than this,” she said. “This is going to really be something that’s a huge destination — not just in the area, but for the rest of the world.”
Friedman also asked museum organizers to reach out to residents living near the project site during the development process, a step Zakaryan said would be taken.
Fundraising will be a part of paying for the museum’s development, but state and federal grants will likely be sought as well, she said.
Councilman Zareh Sinanyan said he looks forward to a grand opening some day.
“I know there’s a long road ahead to be traveled, yet I’m very encouraged, and I’m very proud that Glendale looks like the potential home of this museum,” he said.
Arin Mikailian, email@example.com