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The Agonizing Slowness of Locating Eli Broad’s New Museum

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Remember last year when everyone knew that Frank Gehry was going to get kicked off the Atlantic Yards project (including Gehry) but it was drawn out for months and months until it finally happened and surprised not a soul? If we were to award a prize for this sort of story, maybe the UnBeige Medal for Delaying the Probably-Inevitable, of course it would have gone to Gehry and Co. This year’s medal recipient is another easy decision: Eli Broad‘s new museum in California. Starting back in 2008 with an announcement by the billionaire art collector that he wanted to build himself a new museum, there was some actual momentum over the next two years. Between Los Angeles and two of its suburbs trying to encourage Broad to build in their town to architect shortlists, it was mildly fun to watch. But since April, almost everyone has been positive that Los Angeles is going to get the museum, at the rebooted Grand Avenue site. And with recent news that votes have gone through for the plans, the lack of an official word that, yes, LA it is to be, has gotten frustrating. Even government officials have gotten in trouble, thinking the whole project is now a sure thing, like this week when Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said on his website that it was a done deal, quoting Broad as saying “Absolutely it’s coming to this site.” The post was later updated, after being contacted by Broad’s staff who claimed no decision had yet been made (Yaroslavsky’s site is standing by its notes taken during a meeting with Broad and has left the post as is). So why continue to belabor it, pretending that Santa Monica still has a shot a landing the museum (you’ll remember Beverly Hills pulled out from the bid five months ago)? We’re not sure and wish it would all just finally come to an end. Though, then again, Eli Broad probably didn’t become a billionaire by acting too quickly and doing things just to appease we needy public.

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