Grammy Museum Opens Tomorrow, Christopher Hawthorne Hates the Building It Lives In

Elsewhere in that land of sun and beauty, the citizens of Los Angeles will see the opening of the Grammy Museum tomorrow at the new, massively renovated center known as L.A. Live, which will also serve as the home of next week’s Grammy Awards. The AP offers up this quickie, generous tour of the new museum, calling it “more than just a glorified Hard Rock Cafe-style collection of music memorabilia.” That would be a kind quote if it were found in the LA TimesChristopher Hawthorne‘s review of the new L.A. Live structure itself, but such is not the case. Hawthorne just hates the place, saying it makes no sense in the context of its surroundings and was built simply for retail renter to hoist advertising upon. Though he does have hope as the next phase of the construction begins, complete with a tower on top being designed and built by Gensler. Here’s a bit of his strongest critique, that architects keep confining LA residents from the streets themselves with exactly these sorts of developments:

The implications of the L.A. Live model for the future of the city are broader than they might appear. It’s not simply that AEG has given Los Angeles another outdoor mall, in this case a good deal bigger and flashier than the average one. When we trap the energy of an urban crowd inside this sort of self-contained world, and when we allow developers and their architects to heighten the differences between that world and the streets around it so dramatically, we help keep the rest of our blocks underused and, as pieces of the city, undernourished.

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