Petersen Automotive Museum
Petersen Automotive Museum On June 11, 1994, Margie and Robert E. Petersen fulfilled a longtime dream when they became founding benefactors to start the Petersen Automotive Museum, donating $5 million to the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. In April 2000, the Petersens contributed an additional $24.8 million dollars to the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum to retire the bond debt and establish the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation as an independent nonprofit organization. Overall, their gifts to the Petersen Automotive Museum total over $30 million. Today, the Petersen Automotive Museum stands as the nations premiere automotive museum, serving thousands of visitors each year. The Petersen Automotive Museum is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture using Los Angeles as the prime example. Encompassing more than 300,000 square feet, its exhibits and lifelike dioramas feature more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. Covering four floors, the facility features permanent exhibits on the first floor that trace the history of the automobile. Visitors are invited to walk through, not by, exhibits and dioramas and experience settings of early Los Angeles where the worlds first shopping district was designed. The second floor presents five rotating galleries with state-of-the-art displays of racecars, classic cars, vintage motorcycles, concept cars, celebrity and movie cars, and auto design and technology. The May Family Discovery Center is located on the third floor. Designed to spark interest in science by way of the automobile, the 6,500 square-foot, interactive hands-on learning center teaches children basic scientific principles by explaining the fundamental functions of a car. A spectacular all-glass penthouse conference center, Founders Lounge and kitchen, comprise the fourth floor, which is available for special events and functions. The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, governed by a Board of Directors. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles.