The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust celebrated a groundbreaking for its first permanent building.
Survivors, public officials and Israeli diplomats participated in Friday’s ceremony for the innovatively designed building, which will rise on city-owned property in the Pan Pacific Park, adjacent to the existing Holocaust memorial monument.
When completed in 2010, the museum is expected to hold tours for and teach some 50,000 high school students each year. Admission will be free.
Museum leaders have begun a $20 million campaign for construction and an operating endowment. Launched in 1961 by a group of survivors and the city’s Jewish federation as the first institution of its kind, the museum has been housed in a series of temporary quarters.
On Saturday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined museum Executive Director Mark Rothman and dignitaries in ringing 12 bells in memory of 6 million Jewish Holocaust victims and 6 million of other faiths.