California African-American Museum
600 State Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90037-1267
Website - 213-744-7432
Hours of Operations: Tue.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm; Sun. 11 am-5 pm
Chartered by the State of California in September of 1977, the Museum began formal operations in 1981 housed in temporary quarters at the California Museum of Science and Industry (currently the California Science Center). The current facility in Exposition Park was built with State and private funds for $5 million. Designed by African American architects, Jack Haywood and the late Vince Proby, the Museum facility opened its doors to the public during the Olympic Games of July 1984. CAAM is currently in its 24th anniversary of being housed in its own facility.
The Museum occupies a 44,000 square feet facility that includes 3 full-size exhibition galleries, a theater gallery, a 14,000 square foot Sculpture Court, a conference center/special events room, an archive and research library, administrative offices, exhibit design and artifact storage areas.
In September 2001, following years of deterioration and risk to the collection, the California African American Museum temporarily closed its exhibition facilities for major infrastructure renovations. Valued at approximately $4.1 million, improvements included automated remote monitoring HVAC system, CCTV security system, dry-pipe fire suppression system, hardwood floor installation, a new roof and skylights, electronic doors to comply with the American with Disabilities Act and an automated light dimmer system. The Museum reopened in March 2003 to great celebration and fanfare.
Exterior improvements in 2003, also included landscaping upgrades. Improved and visible signage has also been installed both outside and in the building.
Facility improvements also include the development of a permanent interactive education and engagement center which began as part of the Museum’s exhibition Black Olympians: Moments of Inspiration. Renovations are underway and completion is expected in 2006 for what is referred to as the Gallery of Discovery. Support for the center has come from a number of partnership sources, in particular from IBM, Allstate, NBC, the Amateur Athletic Foundation, UCLA and Loyola Marymount amongst others
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