The $75 million expansion of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum will provide additional accessible areas

Date:

The $75 million expansion of the Los Angeles Natural History Museum will provide additional accessible areas

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Monday, February 20, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • The $75 million expansion and renovation of the Natural History Museum (NHM) of Los Angeles County is set to begin in 2024.

  • The project will involve 33,000 square feet of the new building, 17,000 square feet of renovations, and 25,000 square feet of landscaping.

  • It will also contain a new wing for the museum called the NHM Commons.

  • According to Bettison-Varga, “the Native American Advisory Council’s actual work is rooted in figuring out ways to build a sense of welcome, acknowledgement, and respect for Native people who enter this space and opportunities to remind, express, and educate visitors that Los Angeles is on Native land.”

  • New “sustainable” gardens that are free and accessible to the general public were also developed under the direction of the Native American Advisory Council.

The $75 million expansion and renovation of the Natural History Museum (NHM) of Los Angeles County is set to begin in 2024. It was designed by Frederick Fisher & Partners, and Studio-MLA is in charge of the landscape architecture. The project will involve 33,000 square feet of the new building, 17,000 square feet of renovations, and 25,000 square feet of landscaping. It will also contain a new wing for the museum called the NHM Commons. The NHM Commons, dubbed a “community hub,” will be spread across the museum’s Exposition Park property and close to the future Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

A 400-seat theatre and event space, a new plaza in Exposition Park and around the museum’s perimeter, a 5,250-square-foot entry pavilion that will be open to the public and showcase items from the museum’s collection, including a 70-foot sauropod dinosaur, and a new 990-square-foot cafe are some of the highlights of the expansion. The outside walls will be taken down and replaced with a glass facade. This will connect the outdoor area to the inside of the building and let park visitors look at the museum’s collection freely.

According to Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of the museum, “Visitors will be able to connect with science, nature, culture, tradition, and community, with or without a ticket.” “We view [NHM Commons] as a destination for Exposition Park visitors and a location for Angelenos to experience programs or get a bite to eat at the cafe.”

The museum set up the NHM Commons Native American Advisory Council and the NHM Commons Advisory Coalition so that staff members could work with them to add things that honor the Indigenous people who have lived in the area for a long time. According to Bettison-Varga, “the Native American Advisory Council’s actual work is rooted in figuring out ways to build a sense of welcome, acknowledgement, and respect for Native people who enter this space and opportunities to remind, express, and educate visitors that Los Angeles is on Native land.” In the groups, there are Gabrieleno-Tongva, Tataviam, Chumash, and Ajachmem people, as well as people from other Southern California native groups. New “sustainable” gardens that are free and accessible to the general public were also developed under the direction of the Native American Advisory Council.

According to Bettison-Varga, “We envisage NHM Commons as an anchor point in Exposition Park and a portal to the [museum’s] life. “We believe it will be a beloved place where people can gather, take pleasure in one another’s company, and discover and create exciting events and activities.”

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