Getty Center

Getty Center Entrance Getting a Makeover

As construction on the nearby 405 freeway winds down, the new and improved Getty Center entrance is slated for completion by fall 2014

Architect's rendering of the new Getty Center entrance, coming fall 2014

Architect’s rendering of the new Getty Center entrance, coming fall 2014

Update for summer 2014:

Since 2010, the I-405 widening project has been under construction to add a carpool lane to the northbound freeway from the 10 to the 101. After years of required reconstruction to the Getty, we are nearing completion of our entry.

The changes begin at the street as you approach Getty Center Drive. New landscape and signs at Sepulveda Boulevard will let our guests know that they are approaching the Getty Center. A newly designed bus canopy on the west side of Sepulveda will let visitors know that they have arrived.

As visitors turn onto Getty Center Drive, they will circulate around a landscaped, travertine-clad disc. The sycamore trees and native, drought-tolerant plant material will provide a visual connection to the hillside beyond.

Attention has been paid to improving the flow of vehicular traffic onto and through the site. Improvements will include increased traffic lanes, a relocated passenger and taxi drop-off area, and an added vehicular entrance to our main parking garage. We thank everyone for their patience during construction and look to wrapping up construction in fall 2014.

Travertine cladding being installed on a traffic island inside the Getty Center entrance

Travertine cladding being installed on the island just inside the entrance. Next up, drought-tolerant landscaping

Originally posted in 2011:

Traffic is legendary in Los Angeles, where our freeways are prominent markers of the landscape. The Getty Center has a special relationship with the freeway, as it sits by the banks of Interstate 405. Visitors traveling up to the Getty Center on our tram watch as 10 lanes of cars speed (or inch) by below. Views from our Cactus Garden on the South Promontory are dominated by the thick line of cars heading south into the horizon near LAX. And the 405 freeway also runs directly over our main entrance.

Architect's rendering of redesigned Getty Center entrance

Architect’s rendering of redesigned Getty Center entrance, 2011

The project to widen the 405 freeway and improve traffic by adding a carpool lane has been underway since January 2010 (carmageddon, anyone?). And now our own Getty Center entrance on Sepulveda Boulevard is getting a makeover.

When finished, our newer, snazzier front entrance will have new sound walls, lusher landscaping, a better bus shelter integrated into the design of the entrance, and improved lighting in the passageway underneath the 405. Result: visiting the Getty Center will be faster by car and more pleasant by bus or bike.

Getty Center entrance on Sepulveda Boulevard, November 2011

Getty Center entrance mid-construction, 2011. The 405 freeway (with wooden scaffolding for construction) passes above the entrance lanes.

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  1. tammy
    Posted November 9, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    It actually looks like there will be less landscaping at the entrance?

  2. Posted November 9, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Tammy – the image above is only intended to show the new architecture for the entrance. It doesn’t depict the complete landscaping plan, which is still being finalized. Stay tuned!

  3. Scott
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    What an exciting and helpful improvement! Thanks to the Getty for showing such leadership!

  4. Jason
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I’m a huge fan of the Getty Center, and I was really hoping to squeeze in a walk through of the Klimt exhibit before driving my rental back to LAX en route home to Chicago. Departing from West Hollywood around Noon on Monday, my total trip to the Getty Center before departing was approximately an hour, about 1/2 of which was spent 1/8 of a mile from the cul de sac, where all visitors were informed that the parking ramp was full and that there was no capacity for further visitors by car. At that moment I of course understood that the same information was just delivered to the majority of cars that were leaving that bottle neck over the course of the 25 minutes or so that I’d sat driving into it, and also that the majority of cars that remained lined up behind me were eventually going to hear the same.

    Now, I’m just throwing a couple ideas/questions out there:

    1) Is the current parking capacity reduced because of the 405 construction? It wasn’t clear to me if part of the parking structure was closed as a result of the construction above…

    2) Related, is the parking structure being rebuilt / expanded / modified as part of this makeover project? It seems an ideal moment to increase capacity, especially if the parking capacity is being maxed out at 1:30PM on a Monday afternoon. (The parking attendant told me to “come back after 1:30 – I didn’t bother mentioning what time it was, or the fact that I sat on Getty Center Dr. for over 20 minutes for him to suggest that, as it clearly isn’t his fault this happened.)

    3) Related, is it possible to set up an LED (or something lower-tech) sign somewhere prior to the turn-off onto Getty Center Dr. informing drivers that the GETTY LOT IS FULL – NO ENTRY or something to that effect? Once that turn is made, there’s no going back, and to simply indicate the parking situation to drivers with a sign that could be easily controlled by your parking staff would be brilliantly simple and useful, especially during this temporary period of construction.

    Hopefully this didn’t come off as an unfair complaint post – I’ve never had problems getting to the Center prior to the 405 construction, and I’m assuming the next time I visit this will all be completed. In the meantime, though, I’m curious about why the parking limitation exists (due to construction or just lacking capacity in general?), whether that max volume will increase with the makeover, and whether some simple signage could be installed outside the turn-off to the entrance to let people know they should keep on driving, rather than pulling into the bottleneck.

  5. Izetta Birch
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I am planning a visit to the Getty on Tuesday, February 4th will the south bound 405 entrance be open?

    • Posted January 27, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Hi Izetta! Looking forward to your visit! According to the Metro project site, the south bound 405 exit will be open. For more information and more frequent updates, check out the metro project site here. If we hear anything else, we’ll comment back and let you know! Thanks, Sarah, Social Media Coordinator

  6. peter Frey
    Posted June 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    We very much enjoyed the museum.
    Finding it with the GPS was another thing that cost us ca 1 hour in getting there.
    The GPS guided us through residential areas and landed us in a dead end street.
    How about letting Garmin know that there is a problem?

    • Annelisa Stephan
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi Peter, We are so sorry—this drives us crazy, and it drives our neighbors crazy, too. We have contacted Garmin (and other GPS providers) repeatedly to correct this error, and we even make a note of it on our Website. —Annelisa, Iris editor

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      Gold snake bracelet, worn on the wrist

      Romano-Egyptian, 3rd - 2nd century B.C. 

      Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum

      In the Hellenistic period, gold made available by new territorial conquests flooded the Greek world. 

      Combined with social and economic changes that created a wealthy clientele with a taste for luxury, this availability led to an immense outpouring of gold jewelry to meet the demand.

      Here’s a closer view of the detailing of the cross-hatching.


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