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Mr. Broad Builds His Dream Museum

Billionaire collector Eli Broad hired Renzo Piano to design a wing of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to house his treasures. It opens Feb. 16

Eli Broad quit the real estate business years ago, but he hasn't stopped developing things. His latest project is the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, a new wing at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) that's billed as one of the largest spaces in the country devoted exclusively to contemporary art. "BCAM" debuted on Feb. 9 with a swanky on-site dinner party attended by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise and wife Katie Holmes, and a bit of headline-generating controversy worthy of a Hollywood premiere. The building opens to the public on Feb. 16.

Broad became a billionaire several times over by catering to the needs of post-World War II families. His first company, KB Home (KBH), is still among the nation's largest homebuilders. He also built Sun America, now a part of American International Group (AIG), into the nation's largest seller of annuities.