In February 2008, LACMA bought the building across the street from Urban Light, at 6006 Wilshire. It had been gutted by a developer who was readying it for a condo project. When that fell through, the museum purchased the building, to improve the museum’s neighborhood and to seize a strategic opportunity to acquire prime real estate at a reasonable price. But, as you can tell from the “before” picture above, it wasn’t exactly in the best of condition. (Read: It had no windows, no water, no power.) So, a few months ago, in what amounts to the world’s most anticlimactic demolition, workers began chipping away at the five story structure. Even if you’re in the neighborhood often, you might not have noticed as the process occurred over a long period of time behind scaffolding. But, lo and behold, the scaffolding is down now, and so is the building.
In the next couple of months, we’ll transform the space into a surface parking lot for the museum and for staging space for the MTA construction of the Subway along Wilshire Blvd. Long term plans for the museum’s use of 6006 have not been established; office, gallery, housing, hotel and other museum related mixed use retail options are being considered.