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The Real Deal Los Angeles

David Geffen pledges record-setting $150M for new LACMA facility

The contribution will build the Peter Zumthor museum
October 04, 2017 01:00PM

David Geffen and LACMA (Credit: Getty Images)

Entertainment mogul David Geffen just pledged the largest cash donation from an individual in LACMA history – a whopping $150 million – to fund the development of a new building at the iconic museum, the Los Angeles Times reported.

His contribution brings the museum’s fundraising total to $450 million, which is still a ways away from the $650 million needed for the construction of the Peter Zumthor-designed building.

“There is no great city without a great museum,” Geffen told the LAT.

The new modernist structure will replace three William Pereira buildings from the 1960s, and a 1980s addition by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates. Museum director Michael Govan, who is largely leading the years-long fundraising effort for the makeover, previously said the buildings would have required $300 million in restorations to remain functioning.

Groundbreaking for the new building, to be named “David Geffen Galleries” in honor of the donation, is scheduled for 2019 with completion slated for 2023.

Other contributors for the project include Las Vegas art collector Elaine Wynn, Univision Chairman A. Jerrold Perenchio (former owner of the Chartwell estate, which recently set records with its $350 million ask) and Harbor Freight Tools founder Eric Smidt and his wife, Susan.

Geffen is the founder of Asylum and Geffen Records and the co-founder of DreamWorks SKG. His philanthropic efforts aren’t limited to the West Coast — he donated $100 million to New York’s Museum of Modern Art last year and another $100 million to renovate the home of the New York Philharmonic in 2015. He also pocketed some extra cash after selling two properties on the luxurious Malibu sands earlier this year. [LAT] – Natalie Hoberman