"Will Work for Art" takes you behind the scenes to meet the people who make the Fine Arts Museums work. This week we meet Patty Lacson, the Director of Facilities. Originally from Flushing, MI, Patty has been with the Museums for nineteen years.
What do you do here at the Museums?
I’m the Director of Facilities. I am responsible for the upkeep of the de Young and Legion buildings. I also oversee the Facility Rental Department and café operations and provide logistical support to all museum departments. I try to keep all operational aspects of the Museums running smoothly.
How did you become involved with the Museums?
I was hired in 1992 as part of the project team responsible for the seismic retrofit and expansion of the Legion of Honor. After completing the Legion project, I moved directly on to rebuilding the de Young.
What is your favorite artwork or gallery in the Museums and why?
I love the Ruth Asawa sculptures in the de Young tower lobby. They soften the hard surfaces of the space, and shadows of the objects created by the lighting are beautiful. The buildings however are my real passion. I love how different they are from each other, the unique elements of each building, and I enjoy watching how the public uses them.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I like to cook and bake (and eat), and I love sports. At home, I have a fish pond in my yard with about two dozen koi, so when I’m not in the kitchen, I spend time with them relaxing.
What are you working on right now?
One project I’m really proud of that I’m currently working on is implementing some ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] improvements at the Legion of Honor. We are adding an automatic door opener at the café terrace door as well as repaving and striping to add more accessible parking spaces. We hope that this will improve the experience of our visitors with disabilities and their families.
Do you remember the first time you visited the Museums?
I visited the Legion when I was 9 years old on a family vacation from Michigan. My first visit to the de Young was to see the Impressionist show in 1986.