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LA Plaza Announces Opening Plans for 2011

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2010, at 09:32AM
Brunswig Building and Plaza House Eric Richardson [Flickr]

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes will occupy two of the city's oldest buildings, the 1888 Vickrey-Brunswig Building (left) and the 1883 Plaza House (right).

Six years after it got the lease to a pair of historic structures across the street from Olvera Street, a museum and cultural center honoring Los Angeles' Mexican American culture has announced its opening date.

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes will debut on April 15, 2011, bringing to fruition a vision that has long been championed by County Supervisor Gloria Molina. According to a press release sent out Tuesday, the center's goal is to "serve as the nation’s premier center of Mexican American culture and arts, with a specific focus on the unique Mexican American experience in Los Angeles and Southern California."

“The Mexican and Mexican American presence has permeated the communities of Los Angeles with its enduring values and celebration of life, touching and enriching everyone in this global metropolis and beyond,” said LA Plaza’s President and CEO Miguel Angel Corzo. “We at LA Plaza are thrilled to tell the comprehensive, vital story of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles.”

The center will make its home in two of the city's oldest structures, Main Street's Vickrey-Brunswig Building and Plaza House. The former was built in 1888, while the latter dates to 1883. Both have been vacant since they were damaged by the 1971 San Fernando earthquake.

Also included will be a 30,000-square-foot public garden designed by Rios Clementi Hale Studios. It will feature water arbors, a vertical garden and multimedia installations.

The center's inaugural exhibition, "LA Starts Here!," will "reveal the essential, often overlooked role, of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the founding and shaping of Los Angeles’ history and culture, from the city’s founding in 1781 to the present."

More grand opening information will be announced in early 2011.

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