LACMA has now fleshed out its cryptic response to my questions sent last weekend about the possible impact of the nearby tar pits on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s sweeping capital project. Consulting with its building team to provide more detailed answers to my follow-up questions, Jessica Youn, the museum’s interim communications director, sent me this:
ROSENBAUM: If the ground (which you called “the foundation”) beneath the cranes is settling, is there any reason for concern that the ground beneath new construction there might “settle,” impacting its stability or its physical integrity (i.e., causing cracks)?
YOUN: No. The soils and foundations below the new construction go through extensive geotechnical analysis and engineering so they are comprehensively analyzed, engineered, and tested to design building foundations that provide stability and improper settlement does not occur.
ROSENBAUM: Is the settling due in part to the proximity of the tar pits? Is there a problem of tar and methane gas leaking from the pits that could contaminate the planned museum buildings nearby?
YOUN: The adjustment to the crane base is required by the geological conditions located below the crane bases. Tar and methane gas from the pits do not travel toward other buildings. The new building foundation is designed with systems that prevent subsurface tar and methane gas from infiltrating the building, which is a requirement of any new buildings built in the area.
ROSENBAUM: In light of this potential issue (if it is, in fact, a potential issue), it possible that you may revise your plans?
YOUN: No. Proper mitigations for geological conditions are in place as part of the building foundations design and plans, so no changes to the building plans are necessary.
Now that I’ve addressed the geological concerns to the best of my (very limited) ability, I’ll move on soon to managerial and museological issues, like those suggested in this eyebrow-raiser:
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