The Quotable Eli Broad Weighs in on Los Angeles

Architecture, Urbanism, West
Thursday, May 8, 2014
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Rendering of Eli Broad's upcoming museum, The Broad (DS+R)

Rendering of Eli Broad’s upcoming museum, The Broad (DS+R)

Diller Scofidio + Renfro‘s concrete-veiled Los Angeles art museum and its accompanying plaza, The Broad, named for the billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad who commissioned it,  continue to rise in downtown. Meanwhile, across the street, Broad’s longtime project, MOCA, struggles to find its footing. Addressing these two projects, Broad sat down with Los Angeles Magazine, giving an unusually candid interview about the state of the city, his own giving, and much more. Here are some of his most revealing quotes from a man who, this time, departed from his usual tactic of sticking to talking points.

Eli Broad (Christina Gandolfo/ Los Angeles Magazine)

Eli Broad (Christina Gandolfo/ Los Angeles Magazine)

“Right now Los Angeles needs a lot of things. It needs better political leadership and better citizen and corporate leadership than it’s had.”

“I don’t mean to brag, but in Los Angeles I don’t see anyone who has stepped forward to do the number of things that I’ve done.”

“With regards to Disney Hall, Frank Gehry had a contract as a design architect. He wasn’t supposed to get involved in construction. When I got involved, I had some ideas that Frank didn’t like. But we’re great friends now.”

“We took a chance on Jeffrey Deitch [at MOCA]. He’s a populist. He did several great shows, like Art in the Streets. He created MOCAtv. But he didn’t have the stomach, frankly, to deal with trustees or raise money or do other things. He was not a manager.”

Overview of Grand Avenue near The Broad (Broad Foundation)

Overview of Grand Avenue near The Broad (Broad Foundation)

“We had a lot of old trustees on the board (at MOCA) who give nothing and create a lot of problems. Four or five of the old trustees didn’t give anything to this campaign for the endowment, but they have no problem talking to the press and complaining.

“We (Broad and his wife Edye) want to finish all our work within ten years after our demise. We don’t believe in having a foundation that’s around 50 years from now that has no idea of what the founders wanted done.”

“Oh, yeah. We’re accelerating our investment.”

Looking toward The Broad's upcoming plaza (DS+R)

Looking toward The Broad’s upcoming plaza (DS+R)

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