The former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple at 4357 Wilshire Blvd is finally getting some attention, with scaffolding erected and workman swarming over the 1961 building designed by Millard Sheets that was recently bought by the Marciano Brothers (Guess? Clothing) to be transformed into their private museum.
The Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation, as it will be now known, will house the brothers’ private contemporary art collection and will not to be open to the general public. Though the entire north/eastern side of the building is currently covered in scaffolding, the renovation will include minimal work on the exterior. The exterior work will clean and repair the travertine and concrete facade as needed, add a new balcony railing on the north side at the top floor, and a new door to the parking lot to move art in and out.
We saw four dumpsters filled to the brim on Friday last week as workers unloaded dated furniture and building materials from the upper floors via a large chute to the ground level. The interior renovation plans call for removing the sloped floor, seating and mezzanine of the building’s main theater, and converting it to a large 100 x 100 foot art gallery, the centerpiece of the Marciano Museum.
The Foundation’s representatives presented a plan for the exterior landscaping to the Design Review Board for the Park Mile Specific Plan in May that called for the removal of the palm trees on the Wilshire frontage (considered to be ‘weeds’ and disruptive to the clean facade that Millard Sheets had originally designed) and creating at “belt of greenery” around the building. The landscape plan was not finalized, nor a decision on whether trees should be planted along Wilshire. The current plans call for a tall hedge screen of Silver Sheen pittosporum, with lower stepped plantings of star jasmine and white azalea.
Larchmont Buzz: Marciano Art Museum Plans for Masonic Temple on Wilshire