Broad Picks Diller Scofidio + Renfro to Design Downtown Museum, Ending Saga

Broad Picks Diller Scofidio + Renfro to Design Downtown Museum, Ending Saga
Eli Broads years-long quest to found a new art museum in Los Angeles had so many twists and gratuitous turns that it seemed to spring from one of the soap operas now preoccupying the city's MOCA, but at long last it has come to an end: the billionaire philanthropist has chosen New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro to design a home for his collection on Grand Avenue, next to Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall. The announcement came after the Grand Avenue Authority voted today to approve plans for Broad to build on the downtown site.

Broad had carefully orchestrated a competition among municipalities in southern California hoping to attract his museum, which will hold the more than 2,000 works in his collection of postwar and contemporary art. (Santa Monica and Beverly Hills had been the two other main contenders.) Despite persistent rumors that downtown L.A. was Broad’s preferred location, and that DSR would win the contract, the philanthropist kept quiet until the end. Just last week Broad denied a report on L.A. country commissioner Zev Yaroslavskys Web site that stated he had decided in favor of that location.

News of Broad’s plans ends more than two years of speculation over the eventual destination of his art collection. As recently as 2007, the collector discussed giving away most of his collection to various museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, of which he has been a longtime supporter. However, in early 2008 Broad changed his stance, stating that he planned to retain control of his collection and lend works to museums as needed. At the time of that decision, Broad expressed concern that no single museum would be able to show a large percentage of his collection. Soon, if all goes according to plan, he will be able to do that on his own.