Arts & Entertainment

Petersen Automotive Museum offers free admission before closing for over a year

The Petersen Automotive Museum will be closing its doors Sunday for a renovation project that will extend through the end of next year and will be offering free admission on its final day.
The Petersen Automotive Museum will be closing its doors Sunday for a renovation project that will extend through the end of next year and will be offering free admission on its final day.
Courtesy of Petersen Automotive Museum

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Los Angeles's Petersen Automotive Museum will be closing its doors Sunday for a renovation project that will extend almost through the end of next year, the museum's chief marketing officer Adam Langsbard told KPCC.

The museum will be offering free admission Sunday and will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Langsbard said.

There will also be one last Breakfast Club Cruise-In from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., where people can put their automobiles on display before the museum closes for renovations.

“We normally hold cruise-ins and get anywhere from 75 to 150 cars,” Langsbard said. “Literally anything could show up.”

The renovation project is being funded by an ongoing capital campaign. Its goal is $125 million, $75 million of which has already be raised, according to the museum's website.

“We sought out the finest minds in museums, entertainment, education, architecture and design to create an immersive experience,” Petersen board chairman Peter Mullin said in a press release on the museum’s website.

The renovation comes a year after plans for a dramatic new exterior to the museum were unveiled.

The structure will not be torn down, but the exterior will be wrapped with a stainless steel body, which Langsbard said “is probably some of the most striking architecture to hit the city since the Disney Concert Hall.”

During the renovation, all four floors will be redone and the building’s footprint will be increased to 300,000 square feet, which will ultimately include 22 exhibits, Langsbard said. The new interior will also include 135 flat screens, LED units, touchscreens and projection units. Currently, the museum only has six.

The Petersen Automotive Museum’s renovation is one of the first of many new improvements that will bring new significance to L.A.'s museum row, according to Langsbard. Other projects in the area include a new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences movie museum, improvements to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and a new Metro station at Wilshire and Fairfax.

“The motion picture academy museum will go up approximately 12 to 18 months after we do, LACMA has huge improvements that are on schedule,” Langsbard said, "so as you start to put these things, really significant pieces together, Museum Row really does become a destination more than a kind of an afterthought.”

If all goes to plan, the museum is set to reopen in December 2015, Langsbard said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly implied that the exterior of the building would not change. The building structure will remain in place, but the exterior design will be dramatically altered. KPCC regrets the error.

This story has been updated.