Construction is scheduled to begin this summer for a $60-million renovation and expansion of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

The NHM Commons Project, first announced in 2017, will remake the western side of the museum at the intersection of Bill Robertson Lane and Exposition Boulevard.  The project will include approximately 22,000 square feet of new construction - replacing the Jean Delacour Auditorium - while renovating and reusing approximately 53,000 square feet of the original 1920s building.

At ground level, plans call for a nearly 31,000-square-foot replacement theater, in addition to a new entrance lobby and cafe.  The new space is to be used for science education and community programming, live performances, lectures, and film screenings.

Frederick Fisher and Partners is designing the project, which will be highlighted by a three-story, glass structure with operable walls that open to the surrounding park.  Plans call for a rooftop terrace atop the building.

The project is to be funded through a variety of state and local sources - including a $15-million contribution from Los Angeles County.  Construction is expected to begin in July 2020 and conclude by June 2022.

The Natural History Museum's renovation comes as officials consider a new master plan for Exposition Park to guide the development of the 160-acre space over the next 25 years.  Recently completed projects within the park include the $350-million Banc of California Stadium and the $315-million renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  Construction is also underway for the $1-billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art at the intersection of Exposition Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.