Ah, the KFC mystery is solved: we reported on Monday that the janky chicken shack at Vine and De Longpre has met its maker and wondered whether that meant the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences museum planned for this site was getting ready to break ground. Uh, no, there's still no money (and the KFC parcel is actually owned by the CRA, which is who decided to kill it). But short-term changes are coming to the whole area, which many say has turned into a blight since the Academy bought up the land for their stalled museum. The Academy (perhaps with some encouragement from the city?) is going to majorly gussy up the area with landscaping, demolitions, and cultural programming while it tries to get its museum capital campaign up and running.
"The Academy’s goal of developing its museum remains, but specific plans for the project remain in limbo due to economic conditions," the Academy says in a statement. "The Academy, however, remains a supporter of the Hollywood community and neighborhood and its near-term development plans for the property, though somewhat modest in scale, will do a great deal to improve the site.
"Demolition of some of the vacant buildings, upgrades of those that remain, landscaped outdoor spaces, and the addition of public access and cultural programming are all part of the planned development.
"Upon completion, the proposed improvements to the land would provide artifact storage space and public programming and exhibition space, as well as office and conservation areas. A 30,000-square foot outdoor area would be used on an occasional basis for open-air film screenings. In addition, up to nine buildings would be removed to provide for improved circulation, improved parking, new landscaped areas and to address minor soil contamination issues that predate the Academy’s ownership.
"No new buildings are being constructed at this time.
"Activating the block will allow the Academy to better coordinate and expand its public programming in Hollywood, offering, for example, a screening series in the Dunn Theater at its adjacent Pickford Center that relates to an exhibition or craft clinic in one of the newly-improved buildings."
We're also told that the Big Lots building will stick around and be used for storage. The CRA is expected to put out an environmental report on the whole project tomorrow.
· Oscar Museum Movement? [Curbed LA]