Regarding Carolina A. Miranda’s “Remaking the Miracle Mile” [July 14]: A calamity perhaps is the word to describe the design process our Los Angeles County Museum of Art has been suffering for the last half dozen years, and let me stress that is our taxpayer-supported museum.
A catastrophe certainly will be the word to describe the museum if the $600- million- plus design becomes, as feared, the nightmare construct and a failed Southern California conceit, orchestrated by a self- aggrandizing art crowd.
I join the chorus of critics and taxpayers to urge the c ounty Board of Supervisors to stop feeding funds to what will be, by the time it is built, a one-billion-dollar mistake.
The board is poised to release $117.5 million for the calamity, having to date been wined and dined, and their egos massaged, by wily museum director Michael Govan. Talk about an edifice complex of a star-struck arts administrator and of what is ostensibly a public institution.
Meanwhile, the clearly overwhelmed Govan and over-his-head architect, Switzerland-based Peter Zumthor, have been putzing around with the design for what seems like dog years, the latest study inexplicably reducing the proposed gallery space, when obviously more is needed to house the collection. Less in this case is less.
As for the proposed design, it is no longer colored black as the muck in the adjacent tar pits, but it is still a biomorphic blob sprawling across Wilshire Boulevard. The galleries might be one floor, as Govan wanted, but the structure is ugly and awkward.
It is time for the county supervisors to bring this farce of a design process to a screeching halt.
Sam Hall Kaplan
The writer is a former Los Angeles Times architecture and design critic