SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2019) —Mingei International Museum will be more accessible and inspirational to visitors than ever before. On December 4, general contractor Layton Construction broke ground on a highly anticipated renovation and expansion to the current museum.

Featured among the many improvements is an admission-free plaza level to welcome visitors, complete with a gallery, store, restaurant, and center for learning. The plaza will provide a new experience for not just the museumgoers, but those visiting Balboa Park, as well.

Mingei Museum officials

Layton Executive VP John Thornton, who oversees the company’s Southern California commercial building group, sees the renovations as a great opportunity for everyone involved, including the public.

“We’re very excited to take on this project and provide something great for the museum, Balboa Park, and the San Diego community,” said Thornton. “It’s an incredible opportunity to take on such a historic project for the museum itself, but also something that will so heavily impact the surrounding area and provide a new experience for those who visit the park. We look forward to playing a key role inthis transformation and really bringing something new to the local community and anyone who visits the area.”

The new plaza isn’t the only addition to the museum, as the transformation will also include an education center for hands-on learning, a new multipurpose theater, as well as renovations to outdoor spaces and exhibition spaces on level two. With over 46,000 square feet of renovations and 6,500 in new additions, the museum will offer stunning space for art collections, a broad range of events, and educational opportunities.

Overall, the renovations are set to improve accessibility and bring in new faces to experience the arts and spark creativity within—a core value within the museum’s vision and mission.

“With Layton Construction at the helm of the renovation, and the contribution of many craftsmen and specialists, we are confident the transformed Mingei will become an even more special place of gathering, learning, engagement and inspiration,” said Mingei executive director Rob Sidner.

Mingei Museum officials

About Layton Construction
Layton Construction Company is consistently ranked among the top commercial contractors in the nation, currently the 44th largest builder on ENR’s Top 400 Commercial Contractors list, with revenues of $1.8 billion annually. Layton specializes in construction management, design-build construction and general contracting. Layton’s construction projects are found throughout the United States and cover a wide spectrum of industry sectors, including healthcare, hospitality, education, data centers, office buildings, manufacturing, warehouse and distribution, sports and entertainment, detention, and public safety. Headquartered in Utah, Layton also has regional offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho and Tennessee. For more information, visit

About Mingei International Museum

Mingei International Museum collects, preserves and exhibits “art of the world, art of the people,” including folk art, craft and design from all eras and cultures. Mingei was founded in 1978. Originally located at University Town Center in La Jolla, the museum relocated to Balboa Park in 1996. A non-profit institution funded by individuals and community support, the museum offers inspiring exhibitions and diverse educational programs to more than 100,000 visitors a year. At the heart of Mingei are stunning exhibitions of folk art, design and craft that exude human creativity and spirit. While the Balboa Park museum is temporarily closed for a major renovation, Mingei remains open for business with pop-up exhibitions, maker events and installations happening across the region, expanding the museum’s potential for collaboration and adding new perspectives.