No Tolerance for Tolerance Museum
The very popular (and rightly so) Museum of Tolerance is pissing off its neighbhors. Since the museum opened 14 years ago, it has steadily gained worldwide mentions. Yet, all the visitors that arrive because of those those international mentions have the residents who live near the museum in a tizzy, claiming their West LA neighborhood has become a nightmare of big bus traffic, blocked streets and stolen parking spaces.
All of this, they say, they were willing to overlook in the name of tolerance. Yet, now that the museum plans to expand its reach even further by building a two-story cultural center that could be rented out for events, residents are saying no way. In today's LA Times:
"Most of those fighting the plans are Jewish, and many are museum members. They say they support the museum's mission to educate people about intolerance and hate but object to plans they believe would further spoil the peace and quiet of their West Los Angeles neighborhood."
What would change if the plans are approved?
"Operating hours would expand significantly, keeping the museum open until midnight for private affairs that are now prohibited. An existing cafe for museum patrons would be opened to the public. And a 100-foot buffer separating the museum from homes -- an area now occupied by the memorial plaza -- would be reduced to 20 feet."
On the pro-build side of the issue, museum leaders say they've done all they can to minimize the effects of the new construction - and all the traffic it will no doubt bring to the area - on the neighborhood. With Sen. Diane Fienstein, Gov. Schwarzenegger, Mayor Villaraigosa and others firmly backing the expansion, it seems an ugly fight might be coming soon to a court near you.