American automotive museums have come and gone, but until publishing magnate and philanthropist Robert E. Petersen and his wife Margie opened the Petersen Automotive Museum, there was no central location in which to celebrate the entirety of automotive history, industry, culture and artistry in Los Angeles, the most car-centric city the world has yet known. Even the Petersen Automotive Museum building represents aspects of automotive history as important as the vehicles displayed inside. Its architecture, user friendly parking facility, and central location make it a living example of automobile culture in Los Angeles.
To explore and present the history of the automobile and its impact on global life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example.
The Petersen Automotive Museum envisions a rapidly evolving, multi-dimensional society in which it thrives as a progressive, globally respected center for automotive research and collecting; the focal point for automotive history, culture and enthusiasm in the United States; and a premier educational institution in Los Angeles.
In 2015, the museum underwent an extensive $90 million renovation. The building’s façade was redesigned by the architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, while designers at The Scenic Route configured interior spaces to accommodate changing exhibits that are intended to encourage repeated visits. The exterior features a stainless-steel ribbon assembly, made of 100 tons of 14-gauge type 304 steel in 308 sections, 25 supports and 140,000 custom stainless-steel screws.