VIDEO: Check Out Plans for Petersen Museum’s $125M Makeover


L.A.’s Petersen Automotive Museum is on a roll. After announcing a dramatic new look for the museum’s exterior, officials recently revealed plans for a complete interior upgrade that includes brand new exhibits and an all new layout. All these changes will turn the 2o-year-old  museum “into one of the finest automotive museums in the world,” according to Petersen brass.

The museum is now $70 million into a $125 million capital campaign, with plans for interior work to begin in late October. Few specifics regarding the new exhibits have been released, but what is certain is that visitors will now be guided first to the third floor, where they will travel downward to complete their journey. The top floor will focus on the history of the automobile, including its role in the look and development of Los Angeles, and the myriad ways Hollywood has broadcast its love of the personal vehicle. The second floor focuses on the automotive industry and its evolution, including the embrace of alternative fuels. Interactive spaces and digital displays will make the history lessons more relatable for millenials, children, and all those who view life through a screen. Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design will even maintain a satellite design studio right along the second floor exhibits. The first floor will carry that theme, centering on the “art of the automobile” and featuring some of the most sumptuous cars ever designed.

Motorcycles and motorsports will also have their own distinct gallery. All in all, the renovation will create 22 new galleries in the museum, which will look completely different both inside and out; the current, boxy exterior will soon be clad in undulating steel waves, courtesy of architects Kohn Pedersen Fox. The Petersen’s next big benchmark will be a gala fundraiser on October 18–days before work begins on the interior–with a performance from The Beach Boys. Stay tuned for reports from the party, watch a video walk-through on the forthcoming work below, and click here for more info.