On the latest DnA, the Petersen Automotive Museum is changing gear with an exciting redesign by Eugene Kohn. But critics say it is funding the effort through the sale of some priceless cars. With Leon Kaplan, Gene Kohn, Terry Karges, Jerry Hirsch, David Undercoffler. Santa Monica’s anti-nuclear Chain Reaction needs funds to avoid a meltdown. Lisa Napoli reports on the secret benefactor who made the sculpture possible.
FROM THIS EPISODE
A twenty-six foot tall sculpture of a mushroom cloud sits in front of Santa Monica Civic Center. It was created by the late LA Times cartoonist Paul Conrad. It is called Chain Reaction and it needs a structural restoration that’ll cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. KCRW's Lisa Napoli reports.
Almost 20 years ago the founder of Hot Rod magazine, Robert E. Petersen, created his museum to cars. Now Robert Petersen is gone, and the museum’s current management is ringing in some big changes. At the recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance they announced plans for a dramatic overhaul of the building, jazzing up its rather dark interior, creating more exciting installations, and wrapping the building in undulating “ribbons” of steel. The architect is Eugene Kohn, of the New York firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, and he talks about how the design is intended to capture in its imagery the "speed, elegance, motion and power" of gorgeous cars, particularly "French cars with Italian bodies" of the 1930s.
But the excitement at the new plans have been somewhat tempered by stories that circulated about the sale of some of the Petersen’s classic cars. Jerry Hirsch, automotive business reporter for the Los Angeles Times, set off a firestorm when he reported that “the Petersen is quite under the radar selling off 100+ of its vehicles” in order to finance capital construction, in what he describes as a breach of its public trust.
Leon Kaplan, KABC
Eugene Kohn, Kohn Pedersen Fox
Terry Karges, Petersen Automotive Museum
Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times (@LATimesJerry)
David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times (@LATimes_driven)
More From Design and Architecture
Cities finalize bids for Amazon's HQ2 Thursday is the deadline for cities near and far to submit bids to internet superstore Amazon for its second global headquarters. Amazon says its new HQ2 will be an economic engine for any city, generating around 50,000 jobs. That has cities in Southern California, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Irvine and Santa Ana licking their chops and offering up incentives in an effort to score the headquarters.
How Amazon changed Seattle, Lawrence Halprin The deadline is this week for cities to bid to host Amazon's second headquarters, or HQ2. What can Seattle teach those cities about becoming Amazon's company town? And the late landscape architect Lawrence Halprin saw gardens through the lens of dance. Los Angeles right now is paying tribute to the visionary designer of modernist parks and plazas.
Can a linkage fee solve LA's housing woes? It's now up to the full, LA City Council to decide whether or not to add an additional fee on developers looking to build in the city. It's being called a “linkage fee” and the hope is that it will bring in as much as $90 million a year to help build more affordable housing. A council committee signed off on the idea this week.
Guns and Hollywood, Institute of Mentalphysics You might think Hollywood and the NRA are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. But recent mass shootings have brought renewed focus to the glamorization of guns in the movies. And a music festival in Joshua Tree this weekend takes place in a setting known for its spiritual qualities as well as its architecture. We hear about the Institute of Mentalphysics.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Halprin’s reimagining of urban parks on display throughout LA During the era of urban renewal, construction of the interstate highway system and suburban flight, Lawrence Halprin wanted to breathe new life into cities. His landscapes were meant to suggest the rugged wilderness of nature. Read More
5 design things to do this week This week, you can support shelters for homeless cats; get inspired to (re)decorate at WestEdge Design Fair; see an epic Persian story brought to life; check out street art on furniture; and explore LA’s lost cemeteries. Read More
Beverly Willis, plucky advocate for women architects, to be honored in Monterey The architect Beverly Willis, at 89, is about to receive a lifetime achievement award from the American Institute of Architects, California Council. Her confidence and resilience comes from an adventure-filled life that included time spent in an orphanage; crash-landing a plane at 15; and running her own firm at a time when the profession was almost exclusively male. Read More