National Museum of the Americas

Why Los Angeles is the right place to build it

By Martin K. Zitter
Published on LatinoLA: November 25, 2002

National Museum of the Americas

Now that the National Museum of the American Indian is nearing completion on the Mall in Washington D.C, and the nascent National Museum of African American History and Culture, by an act of Congress, has taken a step toward also achieving a permanent home, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is strengthening its efforts toward realizing a Latino equivalent.

Where better to place such an institution than in the Civic Center area of the City of Los Angeles, to complement both our new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and the venerable founding El Pueblo site, surrounded with by far the largest Latino community in the U.S.-- some four and a quarter million Spanish-speaking residents?

This firm has presented to federal, state and local officials a plan to do just that as part of our proposed Trade and Cultural Center of the Americas to be built over the 101 Freeway, between Grand Avenue and Alameda Street, in covered highway right-of-way airspace, as was the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, along with a substantial mixed-use component.

My purpose in writing is to express my admiration for the work of LatinoLA and to inquiry as to whether any of its subscribers might help with volunteer outreach work on a museum of some 400,000 square feet so as to build this important educational and cultural monument in the City of Los Angeles:

National Museum of Indigenous/Hispano/Latino Mesoamerican History, Art & Culture, Los Angeles, California

Major Departments and Themes:

Great Indigenous Societies - Olmec, Mixtec, Zapotec, Mexica, Azteca, Maya, and Inca: A permanent comprehensive anthropological survey from the original continental migration to the roots of conquest.

European Arrival and Conquest - Caribbean, Central America, South America: ?How were a few 16th Century Spanish adventurers able to so easily subjugate so many of this hemisphere?s native peoples? Why were the powerful leaders of the great indigenous empires not able to resist conquest, or even themselves journey to conquer Europe??

Modern Continental Heritage ? Temporary and traveling exhibits and performances reflecting contemporary Latino art, values, sensibilities and customs; Spanish language and architectural influence; Recognition of indigenous identities.

About Martin K. Zitter:
Martin K. Zitter is President, CEO of BridgeVillages, L.L.C. He is a real estate developer, a museum lover, and a student of Pre-Columbian, Pre-Conquest, Mesoamerican, and Latino and Hispanic history, art and culture.

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