Academy museum changes builders as second phase of construction starts

The motion picture academy had hoped to have its museum ready in time for the 90th anniversary celebration of the Oscars next year. But delays in planning meant that the opening date has been pushed back to the spring of 2019, soon after the 91st Academy Awards.

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The museum is to be housed in the May Company building on Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. That stellar example of Streamline Moderne architecture was built for the department store in 1939. It shuttered in 1993 and was sold to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art the following year. LACMA opened an annex there in 1998 and leased it to the academy in 2012 for 110 years at a cost of $36 million.

Pritzker-Prize winning architect Renzo Piano designed a renovation that includes the addition of a spherical structure that will house a 1000-seat theater. The six-story main building will have 50,000 square feet of immersive exhibition galleries, a state-of-the-art education studio, two film and performance theaters, as well as a restaurant, cafe and gift shop.

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With most of the renovation completed on the existing structure, the academy is switching from Morley Builders and Taslimi Construction to MATT Construction to complete the work, including the building of the iconic sphere.

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