Southwest Museum of the American Indian : Michelin's recommendations
Towering castle-like above the freeway from a slope of Mt. Washington, the Mission Revival building (1914) houses Los Angeles' oldest museum, dedicated to comprehensive collections and research facilities on Native American cultures. The formation of the museum was spearheaded in 1907 by Los Angeles Times city editor and noted local historian, preservationist and archaeologist Charles Fletcher Lummis (1859-1928), in concert with fellow members of the Southwest Society, a local branch of the Archaeological Institute of America, so that indigenous peoples would be better understood by the general public. Since then the collection has grown to about 500,000 objects, including 12,000 baskets and many sculptures and ceremonial garments, only about 2 percent were on view at one time at its current site. With the landmark building crumbling due to earthquake and water damage, in July 2006 the Autry National Center, which oversees the museum, undertook a four-year, $10 million to $15 million campaign to preserve it and secure the safety of the collections. During that period, visitors can see objects in "working storage" format-that is, in glass cases, without much interpretation-and view exhibits on the restoration. The store is also open.