The Santa Monica Historical Society Museum has signed the lease for its future permanent home in the Santa Monica Public Library complex at 1350 Seventh St., Santa Monica.

The new 5,000-square-foot facility is expected to open to the public in the middle of the year.

A $5 million capital campaign for the build-out and operation of the new museum was launched earlier last year. To date, the campaign has raised nearly $500,000.

Contributors will be honored on the Wall of Legacy, a permanent fixture in the new museum.

Leading the museum’s fundraising efforts are Jean McNeil Wyner, chair of the museum’s board of directors, and Bob Gabriel, chair of the museum’s Permanent Home Committee.

Santa Monica architect Kristina Andresen was chosen by the museum’s board of directors to design the new museum’s space and displays.

“Santa Monica is my home and I am proud to be contributing to the preservation of its unique and colorful history through my work for the Santa Monica Historical Society Museum,” Andresen said.

“The museum and its exhibits will enable our children and future generations to have a greater appreciation and respect for Santa Monica’s beaches and terrain, its stunning architecture, its wealth of art and artifacts, and its remarkably diverse culture,” she added.

Born and raised in Santa Monica and active in community affairs, Andresen has worked for MGM, Disney Feature Animation and Lorimar Studios, as well as several post-production and recording facilities.

Her firm also has designed technology-intensive facilities, including education buildings, laboratories, galleries and museums.

The recipient of several awards, including the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside Women of the Year Award, Andresen was recently honored again by the YWCA for her architectural work and community involvement.

She currently serves on the board of directors for Upward Bound House, is a director of the Santa Monica Rotary Club and a member of its Literacy Committee. She chairs the City of Santa Monica Building and Safety Commission.

Other boards Andresen is involved with include the Center for Healthy Aging, Santa Monica College Associates, Westside Economic Collaborative and the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

“Kristina has done a terrific job ensuring that the museum will be a user-friendly, state-of-the-art facility and that it will not only be informational but also stimulating and thought-provoking,” said Louise Gabriel, president and chief executive officer of the museum.

“We expect it to attract many visitors and serve as a starting point for a wondrous journey of discovery for visitors as well as longtime residents,” she added.

Featured at the new Santa Monica Historical Society Museum will be art exhibitions, a research library, educational programs, events for children, seniors and families, expanded outreach programs, and collection preservation.

The museum will also provide online access to historical images, and many artifacts, documents, textiles and images that have been donated to the museum from private collectors and residents of Santa Monica.

Information, www.santamon icahistory.org or (310) 395-2290.

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