For the second time in the last five months, Fairfax Ave. adjacent to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, will be closed for several hours before, during and after the evening rush hour, for a big event. The closure, requested by the Super Bowl Host Committee for Friday, February 11, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, February 12, is to facilitate the Super-Bowl-related NFL Commissioner’s Party, a private event that will be hosted at the Museum by the NFL Commissioner for players, coaches and other invited guests from 5-11:30 p.m. on February 11.
According to the Museum, the event will be preceded by single-lane closures of Fairfax Ave., in both directions, starting at 2 a.m. on Friday, February 11, as shown below.
These will be followed by the full closure of Fairfax, between Wilshire and 6th St., from 5 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, February 12, as shown in the next map (note that the lanes on the west side of Fairfax will be closed to the public and available to event traffic only, entering from Wilshire Blvd., as shown by the green arrow).
The west sidewalk of Fairfax Avenue and south sidewalk of Wilshire Boulevard will remain open during the street closure hours, but the east sidewalk on Fairfax, from Wilshire to 6th St., and the north sidewalk on Wilshire, between Odgen Dr. and Fairfax, will be closed. Also, street parking will be unavailable on the closed section of Wilshire Blvd., and on the south side of 6th St., between Fairfax and Curson Aves., during the street closure.
As it did the last time the Museum requested a full closure of Fairfax, in September, for the Museum’s star-studded annual fundraising gala, the Miracle Mile Residential Association, which worked hard to negotiate a prohibition of full street closures when the Museum obtained its operating conditions from the city several years ago, opposed the new closure request because of its potential effects on neighborhood traffic. And so did City Councilmember Paul Koretz, who now represents the area.
According to MMRA president Greg Goldin, however, the Mayor’s office overruled the Council Office objection and approved the closure request, which didn’t sit well with Goldin. As he told the Buzz, “For the second time the Academy will be closing Fairfax Avenue for an event catering to the rich and famous, in violation of city ordinance and the terms of their city-issued Certificate of Occupancy. Our neighborhood fought long and hard during the Environmental Review process to ensure that the Academy Museum would not become another Hollywood and Highland. The Academy was specifically forbidden from any lane closures on Fairfax to help minimize traffic impacts.”
But the Museum said in its closure announcement that the action is necessary for event security. “This closure is for a 2022 Super Bowl LVI ancillary event,” the Museum wrote, “and out of an abundance of caution and public safety, the Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee, led by the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission (LASEC), liaising between the County of Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles, and the National Football League (NFL) requested this closure and will implement traffic management plans.”
However, Goldin said the Academy is already well equipped to protect its guests arrivals and departures, without closing adjacent streets.
“To ensure that, the Academy built a porte cochere specially to handle arrivals and departures for its events,” Goldin said. “Now it seems that both city law and the existence of a designated arrival and departure lane, off Fairfax, are meaningless. The question is, when the will the city enforce its own laws? When will the rich and famous be held to the same standards as the rest of us?”
In response to a Buzz inquiry about how often the Museum may be making closure requests in the future, a spokesperson said this morning that “We have consistently informed our neighbors that we anticipate possibly needing to request full street closures of Fairfax annually for our gala and for events that are a part of major city- and county-wide initiatives such as the Super Bowl and the Olympics.”
And according to the Museum’s closure announcement, it and its event partners felt the extra precautions were definitely necessary on February 11. “The Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee takes this closure very seriously and believes it is the safest option considering all event safety requirements,” the Museum said. “LACMA is open to the public until 8pm on the event date, limiting [The Academy Museum’s] arrival location options. The Los Angeles Super Bowl Host Committee obtained the support of all affected buildings in the immediate closure area and the approval of the various City departments involved with closure issues.”
Neighbors who have questions or concerns about the event or the street closure are encouraged to contact the Museum’s Neighbor Concern Hotline at (323) 930-3011.
[Note: this story was updated after its initial publication to clarify that the street closure was initiated by the Super Bowl Host Committee and not the Academy Museum.]