LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — For years Eli Broad has said he wants to make his vast collection of contemporary art accessible to the largest number of people possible.

What better way to do that, the billionaire philanthropist said Tuesday, than to make admission free to the $140 million museum he’s building in downtown Los Angeles.

READ MORE: Jacqueline Avant, Wife Of Music Executive Clarence Avant, Found Shot To Death In Beverly Hills Home Invasion

“We want to share this art without the broadest possible public we can here in Los Angeles, and frankly throughout the world,” Eli Broad said.

When it opens next year, Broad said during a hard-hat tour of the half-completed building, people will be able to walk in and view more than 2,000 pieces of art, including works by Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha and scores of others without paying a cent.

READ MORE: Report: Reloaded Ammunition May Have Been In Gun That Alec Baldwin Fired On 'Rust' Set

The three-story, block-long structure on Grand Ave. next to Walt Disney Concert Hall is planned as a work of art of itself.

“In just a short time, ‘The Broad’ will be something that rolls off our lips, the same way that The Hammer, The Huntington and The Getty do,” said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. “But yet this is in the geographic heart of Los Angeles. Footsteps from where this town was first founded, we come back to our history to find its future.”

When completed, it will be covered by a glistening, porous shell that will even allow passers-by to see some of the works inside from the street.

MORE NEWS: 14 Cattle Killed After Big Rig Crashes Into Motorcycle Abandoned On Highway 395 In Hesperia

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)