LA County Museum of Art demolition is underway

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The Los Angeles County Museum of Art confirmed Tuesday that it officially began demolition work, part of the controversial $750-million project to build a Peter Zumthor-designed main building.

The work that began Monday focused on the museum’s 1965 Leo S. Bing Center, a 600-seat theater designed by architect William L. Pereira that has been used for film screenings, musical performances, talks and other events.

Interior demolition of three other buildings — Pereira’s 1960 Hammer and Ahmanson buildings as well as Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates’ 1980s Art of the Americas building — is underway as well.

Workers from Clark Construction are following city, state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health guidelines related to the coronavirus, including keeping six feet apart when working and frequently washing hands at portable sinks, a museum spokeswoman said.

Critics of the building project, such as the advocacy group Save LACMA, have argued that county funding, including $117.5 million released last April, would be better spent reallocated toward medical supplies for hospitals during the pandemic.

Museum Director Michael Govan has called the project an investment in the city’s future, saying it would be “an engine of job creation and economic recovery.”

LACMA is aiming to complete demolition in late summer.

By Deborah VankinStaff Writer LA TIMES

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