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LACMA Receives $25 Million Pledge for Zumthor Building


LACMA announced today that one of its trustees, Eric Smidt, and his wife, Susan, have pledged $25 million to support the planned construction of the museum’s new Peter Zumthor-designed permanent collection building, which will replace four existing buildings on the museum’s Miracle Mile campus.  Smidt, the owner of the Harbor Freight chain of tool stores – who also spent part of his childhood in an orphanage – said in a LACMA press release, “When I joined the LACMA board, I realized what I missed in my youth and the wonderful things that can happen when a public museum opens its doors to the community. I feel so lucky now to be able to help open those doors for others, especially kids with the kinds of challenges I had, so they too can benefit from the amazing art here at LACMA and the new worlds it offers.”

LACMA’s announcement goes on to say that, “With the Smidts’ pledge, the total amount committed toward LACMA’s current campaign [for the building project] is $300 million. In November 2014, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $125 million contribution and future financing (pending the Environmental Impact Report certification and the building approval)…to be matched by $475 million in private support.”

Also, “The project remains on track with its proposed schedule to begin construction in mid-to-late 2018. The new building is slated to open in 2023.”

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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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