Following a 14-month total transformation that shrouded the exterior with ribbons of stainless steel and packed the interior with priceless vehicles and cutting-edge technology, the Petersen Automotive Museum at the gateway of Los Angeles’ famed Museum Row has reopened on time, on budget and packed with hundreds of new sights, sounds and sensations for visitors of all ages.
“I am proud to announce that the new Petersen Automotive Museum is open on schedule, on budget and with interior and exterior designs that are even more stunning then the concept renderings—and that is a rare feat in both the architecture and museum worlds,” said Executive Director Terry Karges at December’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Thanks to the efforts of Kohn Pedersen Fox, Matt Construction, A. Zahner Company, The Scenic Route and our incredible Petersen team, we have transformed a building that was once an old department store into one of the most groundbreaking structures in Los Angeles. What’s inside is just as stunning, including a three-story spiral staircase that transports visitors through 25 galleries representing the history, industry and artistry of the automobile.”
On those three full floors of content are 95,000 square feet of exhibit space, with displays featuring some of history’s most breathtaking collector cars, championship-winning racecars, groundbreaking art cars, famous Hollywood vehicles, seminal motorcycles and more. Guests are invited to enter the museum through either the parking structure off Fairfax Avenue or the new front entrance on famed Wilshire Boulevard. There they can see several display vehicles in the David and Ginny Sydorick Grand Concourse, purchase tickets, and take an elevator to the third floor, where the experience begins.
The History Floor (3) will help visitors dive into nostalgia as they explore the multi-faceted history of the automobile. Among the displays is the pivotal exhibit “Southern California: A Region in Motion” in the Southland Gallery, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, which uses interactive video content to show how Los Angeles grew out, instead of up, like most cities.
As visitors descend the staircase to the Industry Floor (2), they can explore the diversity of automotive design and technology and see cars that have been modified for speed and efficiency. Learn what it’s like to work in the car industry and watch automotive design students as they design the next generation of transportation.
On the Peter and Merle Mullin Artistry Floor (1), visitors can discover the most artfully designed vehicles from automotive history, many of which are regarded as rolling sculpture. Explore how the automobile has been interpreted as the subject of fine art and even used as a canvas for artistic expression.
To learn more about The Petersen, its latest exhibits, rotating galleries and special events, please visit www.Petersen.org.