LA's Getty Center built to protect its treasures from flames
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LOS ANGELES — The Getty Center art complex in Los Angeles made sure it could protect its priceless artwork and antiquities from flames like those just across a freeway Wednesday, from its landscaping to a space for helicopters to land.
Officials say fire protection was designed into the facility by architect Richard Meier, including the thickness of the walls and doors to compartmentalize any flames. The $1 billion home of the J. Paul Getty Museum sits in the Santa Monica Mountains and has been closed to prevent harm to its works from smoke from several wildfires.
Its collections range from pre-20th century European paintings to Roman and Greek antiquities, tapestries, photographs and manuscripts, all protected by extensive anti-fire systems outside and in.
Smoke detection and sprinklers are ever-present at the
The immediate zone around the building is kept green with fire-resistant plants, and the expansive area surrounding the campus is rigorously kept clear of grasses. Canopies of oak trees also serve to suppress the growth of vegetation that could feed a blaze.
The Getty Center is on the west side of Interstate 405, and the fire ignited on the east side. It quickly raced up steep slopes into the wealthy