Several community activists turned out today for public comment before the City Council to make the case that the Autry National Museum has reneged on its commitment to keep the Southwest Museum functioning as a living museum.
The Southwest is a treasure of the Mt. Washington-Highland Park area that was allowed to fall into decay by the city’s leadership — something that never would have happened if it was located downtown or on the Westside.
With impetus from the Gene Autry’s widow Jackie, the Griffith Park institution moved in and took over the Southwest with false claims about its assets and false promises to restore the city’s oldest museum. Instead, the Autry has looted the Southwest of its $1 billion collection and intends to expand in Griffith Park while turning the Southwest over to the L.A. Community College District which proposes spending $12 million from the bond issue on the November ballot to turn it into classrooms.
The Saving L.A. Project voted to support Friends of the Southwest Museum on Saturday and activists who participated in the Town Hall meeting spoke to the City Council today.