The Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California in Glendale, California, will break ground this summer.
The landmark will rise to a two-level, 4721-m2 (50,820-sf) museum complex built on a one-level semi-subterranean parking garage. The first level will feature the grand lobby, auditorium, learning center, demonstration kitchen, gift shop, and administrative offices. The second level will be dedicated to the permanent and temporary exhibition galleries as well as the collections archives.
The cultural and educational center’s programming plans include producing and hosting powerful, immersive, and thought-provoking permanent and temporary exhibitions, leading meaningful dialogues and discussions through engaging public programs, providing educational programs for adults, youth, kids, and families, preserving Armenian heritage through the museum’s collections and archives, and serving as an iconic venue for memorable experiences, gatherings, and celebrations.
“The highly anticipated groundbreaking of the Armenian American Museum represents a historic accomplishment for our community, and we believe it will be a symbol of hope and spirited resiliency for America, Armenia, and Artsakh during these challenging and unprecedented times,” said Berdj Karapetian, executive chairman.
The museum was born in 2014 when the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee Western U.S. officially adopted the museum as its landmark project to honor the memory of the 1.5 million martyrs who perished in the Armenian genocide and to help build and define the next centennial of the community as a message of strength, perseverance, and hope for future generations.
In 2015, the museum’s board of trustees was established, entrusting the governance of the project to 10 united Armenian American cultural, philanthropic, and religious nonprofit organizations.
In 2018, the Glendale City Council approved the museum’s $1-per-year ground lease agreement, officially marking Central Park as the future site of cultural and educational center. The initial term of the ground lease agreement will be 55 years with options to extend the lease term for four, 10-year periods totaling 95 years.
In 2019, the Glendale City Council approved an $18.5-million makeover and expansion of Central Park. The proposal includes the creation of a new central lawn connecting the museum and library, an outdoor amphitheater for live performances, a children’s park with playgrounds and splash pads, and outdoor recreational amenities for the community. The city and museum plan to collaborate on the programming of outdoor events in the downtown park.
The museum has assembled a team of experienced museum and industry professionals to provide guidance and expertise in construction, design, programming, and development for the landmark center. The museum’s design team led by Alajajian Marcoosi Architects will be formally submitting the project’s construction documents to the City of Glendale to initiate the plan check process.