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Autry's Expansion Back On, Southwest Museum Still in Jeopardy

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The Autry National Center is expanding, whether you like it or not, city officials. And oh yeah, it's gonna do whatever it pleases with the Southwest Museum too, so suck it! Ok, the Autry people probably don't talk like that, but they are moving ahead with plans to expand despite canceling a $175 million project in August because they didn't like the city's demands. Yesterday the Autry picked up a 77,000 square foot Burbank building at auction, the LA Times reports, and they'll be turning it into a satellite called the Autry Research and Resource Center. Chu + Gooding Architects will handle the conversion into collection storage, offices, work space, and research libraries.

As for the Griffith Park home of the Center, the LAT says the Autry will open 25,000 new square feet of gallery space beginning in 2013. They've announced plans for "a new permanent Native American gallery called 'First Californians,' devoted to times predating Europeans' arrival, and another gallery for rotating exhibitions" made up of pieces the Autry acquired with the Southwest Museum in 2003. Last year, the Autry told the city it couldn't commit to keeping the Southwest open as a museum, and that's still the word. The Autry issued a statement saying "The Autry is currently seeking partnerships with educational, cultural or civic organizations to develop future programs suitable to the Southwest Museum site."

The new plan won't require city approval, and it's planned to take seven years and cost $75 million. The Autry paid $7.45 million for the Burbank building. [Pictured: a Levin & Associates Architects drawing of a First Californians gallery, from the old plans.]
· Autry to remodel, creating Native American galleries in Griffith Park and annex in Burbank [LAT]
· Autry National Center Drops Expansion Plans [Curbed LA]