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Autry center buys Burbank land

Victory Boulevard site is intended to provide museum-quality storage space.

July 24, 2010|By Gretchen Meier, burbankleader@latimes.com
(Roger Wilson )

The Autry National Center on Wednesday bought a new facility on Victory Boulevard to house a new research and resource center.

The acquisition will accommodate curatorial offices, laboratories, two research libraries and about 500,000 artworks and artifacts, museum officials said.

Mayor Anja Reinke highlighted the upcoming project this week as part of a long-term goal to bolster the presence of the arts in Burbank.

"It is my goal as part of the cultural arts committee that Burbank would get more museums to enrich our arts experience," she said.

With the plan to establish a museum-quality storage space to house collections from both the National Center and the Southwest Museum building, the Autry is scheduled to complete the project by the end of 2013.

The Autry plans to add a second story to the existing building, but no floor plan or outside design is available yet. Chu + Gooding Architects — a Los Angeles-based firm that has done work for the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hammer Museum and the Getty Center — will design the new research facility.

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The announcement coincides with the Autry's proposal to create a major new intercultural center for the people of the American West at its main location. The $75-million, seven-year project will also include an increase and modernization of the gallery space in the existing Griffith Park campus.

The Research and Resource Center in Burbank will enable the Autry to maintain all artifacts under pristine, controlled conditions so that the pieces remain safe for current and future scholars, said Joan Cummings, the senior director of marketing at the Autry.

"We were looking for certain criteria when looking for a new space," Cummings said. "We needed a facility that was 100,000 square feet, a good price and in close proximity to the Griffith Park location, and we found that at 210 S. Victory Blvd. in Burbank."

The Autry's Institute for the Study for the American West, which includes the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library, will also be moving to the Research and Resource Center. A reading room will be open to the public by appointment.

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