THE HISTORIC LIBRARY BUILDING - FACT SHEET
Year built: 1920
The original 96,000-square-foot library structure includes the Main Exhibition Hall, which is the focus of the renovation and reinstallation project. The library has been augmented several times since the 1920s, including the addition of the 90,000-square-foot Munger Research Center (2004).
Style: Beaux Arts
Architect: Myron Hunt, also known for the Huntington Art Gallery (former residence of Henry E. Huntington), San Marino, Calif.; and the Rose Bowl, the Pasadena Public Library, and signature buildings at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif.
CURRENT RENOVATION AND REINSTALLATION PROJECT
Project description: As part of the ongoing conservation and renovation of historic structures at The Huntington (following similar projects at the Huntington Art Gallery, the Japanese Garden, and the Mausoleum), renovate and redesign the main exhibition hall that highlights the institution’s library collections.
Date closed for renovation and reinstallation: June 5, 2012
Reopening: Nov. 9, 2013
Project cost: $2.5 million
David Zeidberg, Avery director of the Library
Karina White, senior exhibition designer and project manager
Curatorial committee: Sara S. “Sue” Hodson, curator of literary manuscripts
Daniel Lewis, Dibner senior curator, history of science, medicine and technology
Jennifer Watts, curator of photographs
Preservation architect: Architectural Resources Group
• Infrastructure updated, including heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems.
• Exhibition in the Main Exhibition Hall (3,456 square feet) completely redesigned and reinstalled.
• Orientation space (“The Library Today”) added, to provide visitors with more context as they enter the exhibition.
• Reproductions of the three original plaster chandeliers installed.
• Original cork and marble floors refurbished.
• Original bronze chandelier in foyer conserved and reinstalled.
• Vaulted ceilings in entry foyer repainted and highlighted to emphasize architectural detail.
• Four bronze figures conserved; made by Henry VIII’s court sculptor Hubert Le Sueur in the 1640s.
• Four 18th-century stone French vases conserved.
• Three-tier fountain restored (possibly American or Italian, late 19th century).
• Plantings reworked to reflect the original landscaping and show more of the facade.
• Concrete steps, damaged by age and settling, replaced.