A+D Architecture and Design Museum is Coming to the Arts District

A+D Architecture and Design Museum is relocating from Mid-Wilshire to the one-story brick building at 900 E. Fourth St. It is expected to open in the spring or summer of 2015. 

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — The A+D Architecture and Design Museum is relocating from its spot on Museum Row to the Arts District.

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The museum inked a two-year lease today for an 8,000-square-foot space in a one-story brick building at 900 E. Fourth St. Dilip Bhavnani, principal at Legendary Developments, which owns the property, originally considered a bowling alley for the building. But a museum is more in line with the fabric of the neighborhood, he said. 

“This is a much better use of that space. We are completely thrilled to be bringing the museum into the community,” he said.

For the museum, the relocation to Downtown is a homecoming. A+D opened in the Bradbury Building in 2001 and ping-ponged to various donated spaces before landing at 6032 Wilshire Blvd. in 2010.

Executive Director Tibbie Dunbar had looked forward to ending the museum’s nomadic existence when she signed the Wilshire Boulevard lease. However, not long after the build-out, A+D was thwarted by eminent domain: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will raze its building and surrounding structures to make way for the Fairfax station of the under-construction Purple Line.

She expressed enthusiasm about the relocation to Downtown, which she expected to happen by summer 2015.

“We are really looking forward to being in the Arts District,” she said. “It is a beautiful building and the proximity to SCI-Arc — tomorrow’s architects — is great.”

The museum has tapped architecture giants Gensler and RTKL for the project. They plan to use 6,000 square feet of the building’s interior, and to sublease the remaining space to a store, said Danielle Cornwell of brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle. Dunbar said a cafe or bookstore are possibilities that “go well with our mission.”

When the Fourth Street lease ends in two years, Dunbar would like to stay in Downtown, she said.

Dunbar said she wants to preserve much of the building at Fourth and Colyton, including the “beautiful graffiti elements” on the walls. Inside they’ll maintain the wooden, bow-truss ceiling and exposed brick walls. The museum will also have 25 parking spaces.

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