LOS ANGELES, CA.- Flanked by more than 100 construction workers, philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa celebrated the placement today of the final steel beams in the framing of The Broad museum on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles.
At the topping out ceremony, Broad and Villaraigosa thanked the workers from nearly 30 trade unions for their work to date on the $130 million contemporary art museum, which is expected to open in mid-2014. The project has already generated more than 600 jobs with several hundred more anticipated over the next year.
The topping out ceremony is customary in building projects to commemorate the completion of framing. An American flag and ceremonial evergreen tree sit atop a steel beam, signed by the workers, to symbolize the American dream and the belief that no building should be higher than the surrounding trees. The beam is then placed at the top of the building.
At The Broad today, after workers and officials signed the 40-foot beam, spectators watched a 294-foot construction crane slowly lift the 1,700-pound steel beam to the top of the three-story structure.
The Broad is a new contemporary art museum being built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad as a gift to Los Angeles. It will be home to the 2,000-work Broad Collections, which feature artworks by more than 200 artists and unparalleled, in-depth groupings of works by select artists such as Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat and many others. The museum will also serve as the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation.
Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the 120,000-square-foot, three-level museum will feature approximately 50,000 square feet of gallery space on two floors, a lecture hall for up to 200 people, a public lobby with display space and a museum shop. The project will also include a state-of-the-art archive and study space that will be available to scholars and curators who want to research works in the collection and borrow artworks for their institutions through The Broad Art Foundations worldwide lending program.
The Broads created The Broad Art Foundation in 1984 as a pioneering lending library for contemporary artworks. Dedicated to increasing access to contemporary art for audiences worldwide, the foundation has made nearly 8,000 loans to 485 museums and galleries around the world. In addition to The Broad Art Foundations works, the loan program also makes available art from The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection. Together, the Broad Collections are among the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art in the world.