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Friday Funny: Missed Opportunities—The Getty Villa Volcano

From the never built files (except this time for good reason): A proposal not endorsed during a 19070s expansion plan for the Getty Villa in the Pacific Palisades was a recreation of Mount Vesuvius.
September 26, 2014, 6am PDT | Maayan Dembo | @DJ_Mayjahn
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In a 1977 report on the "Future Development" on the J Paul Getty Museum, architect Stephen Garrett outlines many of the ideas and proposals regarding the expansion and future development of the Getty Museum, located in the Pacific Palisades. Garrett focuses on the potentials within the Getty Villa, a large villa inspired by the design of the Villa de Papiri at Herculaneum, the largest and most luxuriously furnished seaside villa found buried in the ash of Mount Vesuvius in Italy in the 1700s.

In the spirit of transplanting visitors of the Getty Villa to Italy, one suggestion posited to Garrett was to re-construct Mount Vesuvius on the hill behind the museum. The famed Italian volcano that buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and froze its residents in ash did not resonate with Garrett, however. According to the report, “at midday each day it would erupt, sending a light shower of (plastic) lava over the visitors below.” Perhaps Garrett saw it as gaudy or garish (he did not elaborate), but regardless it would have added a unique touch to the estate.

H/T to Christopher Hawthorne for the article.

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Published on Thursday, September 25, 2014 in ARTINFO
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