Mike Boehm reports in the Los Angeles Times that LACMA has decided to take a breather on its construction plans until it raises more money and can assure creditors that it will make good on its bonds. The museum is currently $63m away from having the cash to make good on its bonds and $120m from its overall fundraising goal. But it has decided to pause its five-year-old building program to raise an addional $100m to quell any discontent from credit rating agencies:
A mixed review of LACMA’s recession-buffeted finances issued Wednesday by Moody’s Investors Service lays out the reasons why the museum that opened the Broad Contemporary Art Museum and the BP Grand Entrance in 2008 and the Resnick Exhibition Pavilion in September is stopping for a refueling before pushing ahead.
LACMA officials said early in 2009 that the poor economy had forced them to delay the next scheduled project, carving offices and more gallery space out of LACMA West, a former May Co. department store at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. But no fundraising threshold had been publicly attached to its resumption until now. […]
Although Moody’s did not downgrade the previous A2 rating on $383 million in construction bonds LACMA has issued to pay for its “Transformation” campaign, it forecasts rough going ahead, leading to a drop in the rating’s outlook from “stable” to “negative.”
Meanwhile, the museum has acquired a new work by Chris Burden, Metroplis II: (click on the picture to see a video of the installation in action)