In 2012, one of the nation’s premier design firms that specializes in rehabilitating historic concrete buildings, Plum Architects and Louisa Van Leer Design collaborated with the Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition to prepare three conceptual designs with cost estimates to help re-imagine the potential of the historic Southwest Museum. The National Autry Center is currently in control of the Southwest Museum Facility and the Casa de Adobe Facility as well as the extensive collection of museum artifacts. At this time, the fate of the Museum is still not yet clear.

Design Approach

Our design approach was to fully explore the myriad of options to rehabilitate the existing Southwest Museum with special emphasis on utilizing all corners of the existing Historic Register Building, including the Caracol and Torrance Towers.

Vision for the Southwest Museum

The Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition has brought to the table a feasible, affordable, and exciting plan to return the Southwest Museum to proud public service. Our vision expands and opens up exhibition spaces that have never been seen by the public, introduces innovative dining and outdoor areas with spectacular views and incorporates a children’s learning center.

Vision for the Mount Washington/Arroyo Seco Historic District

In close proximity to the Charles Lummis Home, Casa de Adobe, Heritage Square, the Arroyo Seco, Debs Park, and the Audubon Society, the Southwest Museum is the cornerstone of a cultural and historical legacy vitally important to Northeast Los Angeles.

As part of ensuring the museum’s vibrancy and contribution to this legacy, the FSWM Coalition envisions regional possibilities that encompass history, education and economic stability. We tell the Story of Place.

Highlights of the FSWM improvement plan for the Southwest Museum

Highlights of the FSWM improvement plan for the Southwest Museum

Vision for Expansion 2007

The Autry Center has repeatedly claimed that it is not feasible to redevelop the current site to meet modern museum standards and a minimum financially feasible size. In response, in 2007, the FSWM Coalition obtained the pro bono services of renowned historic preservation architect, Michael Garavaglia to envision the maximum amount of development potential of the Southwest Museum site.