The earth movers have been on-site for a couple of months, but now it's official: the Colburn School's Frank Gehry-designed expansion has broken ground in Downtown Los Angeles.

View looking southwest from Hill StreetGary Leonard

An April 5 ceremony marked the official start of work on the $335-million Colburn Center, which replaces a surface parking lot at along the north side of 2nd Street between Olive and Hill Streets. The new construction, located just northeast of the Colburn School's main complex, will include a 1,000-seat concert hall - to be named for primary donors Terri and Jerry Kohl - as well as new instruction and rehearsal studios and a small 100-seat theater.

At the exterior, plans call for a rooftop garden and a publicly-accessible garden opening onto Hill Street. Both spaces will have ample room for performances, receptions, and other types of events.

Colburn Center groundbreakingGary Leonard

The project, on track to open in early 2027, is being paid for through the Colburn School's $400-million "Building Our Future" fundraising campaign. The total will provide $335 million for construction costs and $65 million toward the endowment of operating costs for the facility and the Colburn School.

The Colburn's increased footprint complements other changes in the surrounding area, including Grand Park, the Emerson apartment tower, The Broad contemporary art museum, and the new Conrad hotel and Grand by Gehry Residences across Olive. It also expands upon the existing "cultural corridor," along Grand Avenue, which also includes the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Music Center, and the Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall.

View looking southeast from Colburn Center construction siteGary Leonard

The Colburn is not the only cultural institution with a presence on Grand Avenue slated for expansion. In March, The Broad announced plans for a $100-million of its own facility at 2nd and Hope Streets.

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