Founded on June 11, 1994 by magazine publisher Robert E. Petersen, and his wife Margie, the $40-million Petersen Automotive Museum is owned and operated by the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation.
Previously located within the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the museum is permanently housed in an historic department store designed by Welton Becket.
The building opened in 1962 as a short-lived U.S. branch of Seibu Department Stores, before operating as an Ohrbach's department store from 1965–1986.
Six years after Ohrbach's closed, Robert Petersen selected the largely windowless site as an ideal space for a museum, where artifacts could be displayed without harmful exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of direct sunlight.
We visit many times to see the new displays and we have lunch at the Farmers Market.