Projects in Progress


New Education and Visitor Center - Opens Early 2015

The new EVC will be composed of a complex of gardens and buildings designed to harmonize with the Huntington’s original early 20th-century Beaux-Arts architecture. New facilities will replace some of the older facilities. But there also will be a new café, classrooms, expanded gift shop, and a lecture hall with raked seating, among other features. Read more in Momentum

New Education and Visitor Center


Project Update

The buildings have really taken shape; most have their beautiful tile roofs and stucco. The glass dome of the Garden Court is nearly complete and a strong central focal point. Additionally, we've been doing 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 (yes, we're actually planting while the construction is going full throttle!). In January, we'll plan to open the three northernmost facilities — the ticketing area, the coffee shop, and the Huntington Store. 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. We look forward to sharing more detail on that part of the project as it develops. The orientation space will open when the full education and visitor center opens later in the spring.



Project Renderings


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Facts & Highlights


Project: A new entrance complex at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, Calif., consisting of gardens and facilities for lectures, conferences, classes, meetings, and visitor amenities, as well as an orientation space, and underground storage space for The Huntington’s collections of rare historical materials.


Location: Replaces the existing 9,000-square-foot entrance area (part of a larger complex designed by Whitney R. Smith in 1980) and extends northward, into space opposite the Munger Research Center.


Projected opening date: Soft opening--January 2015; full opening Spring 2015 


Cost: $68 million; funded through private sources


Project team

  • Architect: Stephen J. Farneth, FAIA, founding principal; and James McLane, AIA, associate principal, Architectural Resources Group
  • Landscape architect: Cheryl Barton, Office of Cheryl Barton
  • Project manager: Laurie Sowd, Vice President for Operations, The Huntington
Architectural style: The new buildings are designed to be compatible with the formality, scale, and materials of the original 20th-century Beaux-Arts architecture on the property by noted Pasadena architect Myron Hunt. They incorporate stucco, red clay tile roofs, bronze detailing, loggias, and trellises. Highly functional, they are beautifully but simply detailed and serve as an elegant background to landscaped exterior spaces. Integrating the structures completely with the surrounding landscape provides opportunities for incorporating natural light and views both from the inside and outside, and access from all interior spaces into adjoining exterior areas.
Landscape: The 6.5 acres of gardens highlight the natural, agricultural, and cultural landscape origins of the estate in a Mediterranean plant palette. The central garden is formal and axial with hedge rooms and an alee of olive trees; the entry grove offers a tree-canopied area to relax at the beginning or end of a visit; and the south garden’s lush flower beds create a vibrant transition from the formality of the entry gardens to the historic core of the property, just beyond.
  • 400-seat lecture hall with raked floor for excellent sight lines and state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities for The Huntington’s program of lectures, conferences, and small musical performances.
  • Multipurpose room with audio-visual capabilities and flexible lighting to accommodate botanical shows, dinners, and other educational and donor- cultivation events
  • Four classrooms located near the bus drop-off and designed especially to serve school children and their teachers
  • An elegant board room providing meeting space for The Huntington's volunteer leadership and others
  • New retail store offering twice the sales space in a beautifully detailed setting
  • Glass-domed Garden Court serving as a covered outdoor lobby for the lecture hall, multipurpose room, and classrooms
  • Trellises and loggias creating transitional spaces between gardens and buildings
  • New café offering a variety of food stations, indoor seating with views to the gardens, and outdoor seating beneath a lemon arbor and with views of the Desert Garden and the Huntington Art Gallery
  • Coffee shop for quick snacks near the entrance
  • New routing of vehicles leads those entering through the north (Allen Ave.) gate along the historic Palm Drive past the Mausoleum
  • Pedestrian paths from the entrance gates offer safe passage past lush landscapes
  • 43,000 square feet of underground Library collections storage with excellent climate conditions and security


Energy usage and sustainability

  • Overall design, including the building envelope, lighting, and HVAC systems, exceeds California’s Title 24 minimum requirements by more than 17 percent
  • Plumbing system and fixtures exceed California’s CAL Green requirements by more than 30 percent
  • 75 percent of construction debris will be recycled
  • All excavated soil will be reused on site


Construction Update: August - October 2014

  • August - October:
  • • Stucco finish being applied to all buildings
  • • Tile being installed on roofs
  • • Final electrical, mechanical, and plumbing being installed
  • • Finishes taking shape in restrooms, kitchen, cafe, coffee shop
  • • Millwork going in on board room walls
  • • Landscape grading, irrigation, and planting underway


Construction Information Hotline: 626-405-2100 x: 2251  Email:


For more information contact:

Susan Turner-Lowe, Vice President for Communications,, 626-405-2147

Laurie Sowd, Vice President for Operations,, 626-405-2252

Randy Shulman, Vice President for Advancement,, 626-405-2293 

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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