Construction on a museum in Glendale devoted to Armenian history and culture will begin July 11, San Fernando Valley Business Journal reports.

In development for more than seven years, the Armenian American Museum, a two-story, 50,000-square-foot contemporary building, will rise at the southwest corner of Glendale Central Park.

The park block itself will soon after undergoing an $18.5 million upgrade.

Designed by Glendale architecture firm Alajajian Marcoosi Architects, with a distinctive contemporary exterior inspired by rock formations in , the museum building’s first floor will include a lobby, auditorium, administrative offices and learning centers. The second floor will feature permanent and temporary exhibition galleries. The structure will also house a single level of basement parking.

Glendale’s Armenian American Museum to break ground July 11

The museum has also retained the services of Gallagher & Associates to create its permanent exhibition.

The museum has been made possible through a $1 per year ground lease agreement with the city of Glendale, which owns the park property and is also host to a sizable Armenian American community.

The museum’s initial lease will run for 55 years with four decade-long extension options for a total of 95 years.

The mission of the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Armenian American experience. The vision is a cultural campus that enriches the community, educates the public on the Armenian American story, and empowers individuals to embrace cultural diversity and speak out against prejudice.

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