Holocaust Museum LA's proposed $45-million expansion has taken a small, but important procedural step forward.
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks issued a notice of exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act for the proposed Jona Goldrich Campus, which would expand upon the museum's existing subterranean building in Pan Pacific Park. The proposed project would include:
- a new learning center;
- a dedicated theater to showcase the USC Shoah Foundation's Dimensions in Testimony;
- a 200-seat theater;
- Two classrooms;
- a 2,500-square-foot special exhibit space; and
- a pavilion housing an authentic boxcar found at Majdanek death camp in Poland on top the existing museum.
Plans also call for concession areas, administrative offices, and restrooms.
Additionally, the expansion would provide space to house a full-scale German transport box car.
The museum's expanded footprint would require the removal and replacement of existing trees, as well as the relocation of a Parks Department maintenance yard and infrastructure owned by the L.A. County Flood Control District.
Plans for the Jona Goldrich Campus, named after the late real estate entrepreneur who was one of the museum’s key supporters, comes at a time when hate crimes spiked in the United States, and with it visits to the Holocaust Museum. According to a website for the expansion, the museum has seen a 400 percent increase in attendees since 2011.
The Belzberg Architects-designed expansion is expected to increase the museum's annual capacity to 500,000 by 2030.
As of October 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported that the museum had raised nearly half of the funds needed to begin construction. A groundbreaking is expected in 2022.
The museum, which originated in the 1960s, moved to its permanent home at Pan Pacific Park in 2010.