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Construction workers began installing scaffolding on Tuesday around the May Company Wilshire building, at the northeast corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. They will continue the work through March 13 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. The northbound right lane of Fairfax Avenue next to the building will be closed during the work through Friday.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has proposed a new museum for the site.
“The important thing to note about this scaffolding is that it doesn’t signal the construction of the Academy Museum,” said Morgan Kroll, spokesperson for the museum.
Instead, Academy officials said the scaffolding is being installed to ensure public safety as they continue to study the condition of the building’s 76-year-old façade.
“We did do some façade testing at the end of last year, but we’re continuing that,” Kroll said.
The proposed Academy Museum would be dedicated to films and filmmaking. It would include permanent and changing exhibition spaces and three theatres with a combined seating capacity of up to 1,350 people. Plans include a banquet and conference space with a maximum occupancy of 1,200 people. An approximately 4,000-square-foot café with seating for 150 people and an approximately 5,000-square-foot store are also planned.
The proposed development would rehabilitate and adaptively reuse the exterior of the May Company Wilshire building, which is classified as a city historic-cultural monument.
Plans also call for the demolition of a 1946 addition to build what is being called the New Wing. The New Wing would include a spherical structure housing a state-of-the-art theatre with seating for up to 1,000 people, which could be used for special events and occasional exhibits.
The development’s final environmental impact report (FEIR) was released on Feb. 20. It must still be approved first by the Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee and then by the full city council. The date for a committee hearing has not yet been set, but Academy officials said they are hopeful they can begin construction later this year for a projected 2017 opening.
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Sounds like a big project. Hope it goes well and smoothly for grand opening in 2017.