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After Losing Broad Museum, Santa Monica Civic Getting a Makeover

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Image via Santa Monica Mirror

The whole Santa Monica-Eli Broad "is he or isn't he building a museum next to the Civic Auditorium?" saga lent itself way too easily to cliched breakup metaphors, and it still does, even as Broad Museum steel settles in on Grand Avenue. Last week, the Santa Monica City Council voted to give the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, which was designed by Welton Becket and opened in 1958, a makeover, but decided it doesn't need a man museum. The Council approved a plan that includes seismic and disability access upgrades and turns the building into a mixed-use performance space run by the same people who manage the Greek Theatre and the Pantages, but didn't select the option that included "a world class museum space," reports the Santa Monica Daily Press. The reno will use about $47 million of redevelopment money (assuming the state doesn't take it away). The auditorium will operate at a loss of about $1 million a year, but is expected to bring in about $18 million to the city and will still be cheaper than just doing the necessary safety upgrades at the site.
· Civic Auditorium to get $47M makeover [SMDP]