Projects in Progress
The front, northernmost section of the new Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center opened to the public on Jan. 14, 2015. The opening makes available to visitors a new, beautiful, and substantially larger Huntington Store, a new specialty coffee shop, and a new full-service admissions and membership area—all surrounding a shady entry grove. The rest of the visitor center will open in April and will feature a 400-seat auditorium, a large café with indoor/outdoor seating with garden views, four multi-use classrooms, meeting and event spaces, and an orientation gallery, all arranged amid six and a half acres of new gardens.
The project also includes the addition of 42,000 square feet of underground spaces to house The Huntington’s growing collections of original historical research materials as well as provide institutional storage.
A New Face
Guests approach the parking lot by way of Palm Drive and get an immediate sense of the estate and its agricultural roots. California pepper trees, characteristic of Southern California ranches and placed amid soft meadow grasses and flowering perennials, introduce the arrival court. A new entrance façade with columns and trellises that support native grapevines frames the entrance, and a row of banners affixed to the center of the front façade colorfully promotes special exhibitions currently on view in The Huntington’s various galleries. An orange grove to the east of the building evokes the region’s agricultural past.
Admissions and Membership Building
Most visitors’ first stop will be at the admissions building, where they can ask questions of a visitor services representative, purchase entrance passes, buy or renew their Membership, or get information about what’s going on at The Huntington that day. The building also includes restrooms, lockers, and an ATM.
The Huntington Store
With 5,000 square feet of retail space, the new Huntington Store is twice the size of its predecessor. The airy interior consists of interconnected rooms surrounding a central space with a vaulted sky-lit ceiling. Miroglio Architecture and Design created interior finishes and furnishings that highlight a different theme for each room to showcase gifts related to the collections that range from William Morris-inspired textiles and stationery to handmade scarves and jewelry, from fun and educational children’s gifts to garden decorations. The store also boasts a selection of books for all ages and a range of interests.
A small coffee shop, offering specialty coffees, teas, and other hot beverages, along with sodas, Italian gelato, and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, will serve visitors who crave a pick-me-up on their way into or out of The Huntington.
Avery and Andy Barth Family Grove
A U-shaped covered loggia connects the admissions building, coffee shop, and store and frames a courtyard with tables and chairs. Deeply shaded by four stately, mature podocarpus trees, the Avery and Andy Barth Family Grove is a welcoming garden enhanced by the gentle tones of a trickling fountain, and serves as a casual meeting place to enjoy a beverage or snack from the coffee shop, read the visitor guide, or wait for others to arrive.
Monumental Alexander Calder Sculpture to Welcome Visitors to The Huntington
American artist Alexander Calder's (1898-1976) Jerusalem Stabile (1976) will welcome visitors to The Huntington beginning this spring, as a part of the new Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center. The painted metal sculpture will be installed in a grassy stroll garden just west of the new admissions building. The Huntington also acquired for the new visitor center Calder’s series of six Bicentennial Tapestries (1975) to hang in the lobby of the new Rothenberg Hall; a 1964 ceramic mural made by Los Angeles artist Doyle Lane (1925- 2002) for the courtyard of the new June and Merle Banta Education Center; and a 1934 mural by Southern California artist Millard Sheets (1907-1989) for the new Stewart R. Smith Board Room. Jerusalem Stabile is lent by the Calder Foundation in New York while all other works are gifts to The Huntington.
Jan. - Feb. 2015
- Front three buildings completed—ticketing, coffee shop and store
- Landscaping and hardscape continuing in all garden areas
- Interior finishes being installed
Additionally, there continues to be a tremendous amount of planting — with pepper trees and jacaranda in the parking lot, as well as oranges, podocarpus, and oak in the interior of the construction site. The space that used to house the old store is being reworked into an orientation space to properly help welcome visitors and give them a bit of background on the Huntington family, Huntington history, and the collections. The orientation space will open when the full Education and Visitor Center opens on April 4. Learn more about the project in our Oct. 29 Press Release.
Construction Information Hotline: 626-405-2100 x: 2251 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about the EVC including reflections by Huntington President Steven Koblik, the project backstory, and inspiring stories from our donors, in the newsletter Momentum.
For more information contact:
Susan Turner-Lowe, Vice President for Communications, email@example.com, 626-405-2147
Laurie Sowd, Vice President for Operations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 626-405-2252
Randy Shulman, Vice President for Advancement, email@example.com, 626-405-2293