Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Closer to Home

The War Memorial building designed by the late architect Eero Saarinen, a modernist icon with a floating cruciform shape, was built in 1957 as a memorial to those who served in the U.S. Armed Services. The modest-sized Milwaukee Art Center, as the museum was called then, was housed in the lower level. Later, the museum grew enough to prompt an addition, designed by David Kahler in 1972.

The museum occupies about 70% of the Saarinen and Kahler buildings. The 2001 Calatrava addition is separately owned and operated by MAM.

Today, the Kahler and Saarinen buildings, owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the War Memorial Corp., are leaking and show crumbling concrete, among other problems. They have suffered from years of deferred maintenance, according to an audit by the county last year and several independent studies commissioned by the museum.

"You could reasonably argue that we haven't done a great job of taking care of the War Memorial," said county executive Chris Abele. "In a building dedicated to veterans where there is visible crumbling, it sends a terrible message. We can do better than that."

A blown underground transformer has caused a power outage in the area of Auto Center Drive and Gale Avenue.

Power went out in the commercial area around 6:30 or 7 p.m. Tuesday evening, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Kelly Huffman.  The outage has effected businesses along Gale east of Azusa Avenue, including several auto dealerships and the Home Depot, she said.

Southern California Edison is on the scene and is working to get power restored, she said, adding that there is no estimated time for when the transformer will be fixed.

Deputies from the Industry station are doing traffic control through the intersections where power is out, she said.

(our LA office was without power)

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