GIA’S Monumental New Home

The seed of an idea planted in the late 1980s has finally come into bloom. Smack in the middle of acres of flower fields, with a view to the Pacific Ocean in front and of the mountains behind, the Gemological Institute of America is digging its roots into Carlsbad, Cal., a seaside community north of San Diego. For the first time in its history, all of GIA’s headquarters will be housed un-der one roof, a fact that some staffers refer to jokingly as “reunification.” The new residence for these unified forces is a 230,000-sq.-ft. magnum opus to gemology – a building roughly twice the size of GIA’s previous combined buildings in Santa Monica, Cal., built at a cost of $39.4 million. GIA President Bill Boyajian is the dynamic force behind the move from Santa Monica. Boyajian is understandably sensitive to criticism from some in the industry that the building is a shrine to him.
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