Dubbed a "nomad school," the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc) finally has a permanent home. Today, school officials announced they have purchased their Arts District building, paying $23.1 million for the site. Founded in 1972, Sci-Arc has never owned its own building, always renting in spots like Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, and Downtown. Of the news: "Well, it’s wonderful," Sci-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss tells us. "It guarantees that the school has a permanent home downtown. It makes it much easier to find funds for the school and to get support for the school."
At one point, the site was owned by downtown developer Meruelo Maddux. More recently, Legendary Investors Group, a creditor of Meruelo Maddux, took possession of the site, and sold it to Sci-Arc.
The Santa Fe Freight Depot building, which houses the school, is located on a 4.5-acre lot along Santa Fe Avenue. Designed by architect Harrison Albright, the depot was originally built in 1907. According to a press release from the school, if the freight depot building was place upright, it would be the same length as New York's Empire State Building.
More below from the Los Angeles Times, the Downtown News and Blogdowntown on the purchase.
· SCI-Arc Buys Its Home [DN]
· L.A. architecture school SCI-Arc buys its unorthodox home [LAT]
· SCI-Arc Completes Purchase of Arts District Campus [Blogdowntown]