Celebration Garden

Projects in Progress

Pardon our dust! The following projects are currently underway at The Huntington:

Desert Garden Improvement Project

desert garden drawing

The Desert Garden Improvement Project will open new areas of the upper Desert Garden, showcasing more of this world-renowned collection with the construction of new pathways, a renovated Desert Conservatory with all-new infrastructure, and greatly improved horticultural conditions to create new opportunities for learning and enjoyment.

It will open an additional half-acre of the upper garden to the public—an area visitors have not been able to explore previously. The construction of 1,300 sq. ft. of new, fully accessible, ADA-compliant paths will offer visitors a more immersive experience, leading them into the heart of a garden that was established more than a century ago.

A naturalistic amphitheater is planned, providing space for school groups to gather or for families to rest in the shade of native oaks. The project also includes renovations to the Desert Garden Conservatory to provide improved public access and viewing of the rare collections housed inside. With a patio offering sweeping views of the landscape, the Conservatory will function as an interpretive hub for the garden, with new exhibitions and a potting bench where visitors can interact with the Desert Collections staff.

I’d like to support this project.

Rose Garden Tea Room Renovation

tea room reno drawing

The Huntington is renovating and expanding its beloved, historic Rose Garden Tea Room, restoring the front of the original 1911 building while creating a new outdoor dining experience and improving functionality in its service areas. The project will upgrade the indoor dining space, modernize the kitchen, develop new restrooms and adjacent areas, and create a pavilion on its eastern side, opening onto the Shakespeare Garden for outdoor dining service with breathtaking views. On the west side of the building, the room that opens out to the Herb Garden will also be renovated and made available for private events, in addition to being used for the Tea Room’s general service. The project is expected to be completed by spring 2023.

The Rose Garden Tea Room has been one of the area’s most iconic dining destinations since it opened to the public many decades ago. These innovative upgrades will make for an absolutely unique tea experience. The Shakespeare Garden pavilion creates a beautifully fluid space between indoors and outdoors that we know our visitors will love.

Built in 1911, The Huntington’s Rose Garden Tea Room was originally created as a billiard room and bowling alley for Huntington founder Henry E. Huntington. The building was designed by architect Myron Hunt, who also designed Henry and wife Arabella Huntington’s residence (now the Huntington Art Gallery), the Library building, and the Huntingtons’ garage (now the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery). The Tea Room is part of the historic core of The Huntington, a small classical structure, and a small-scale partner to the main house.

In 1928, a year after Henry Huntington’s death (Arabella died in 1924), The Huntington opened to the public, and the billiard room and bowling alley were transformed into a “tearoom,” serving luncheon for visitors, staff, and researchers. A menu from 1940 lists options such as bread and butter with jam, toasted English muffins with marmalade, and lettuce-and-mayonnaise sandwiches. Food service for visitors was interrupted between 1943 and 1959 because the endeavor was losing money.

In the 1960s and ’70s, the space served as an extension of the cafeteria used by staff and visiting researchers and was also used for casual meetings. “Afternoon tea,” drawing on the English style of tea service, began to be offered in the 1980s and has continued since then. The Tea Room has been closed to the public since March 2020, first because of the COVID-19 pandemic and then for the renovations.

I’d like to support this project.

Japanese Heritage House

Exterior of the Magistrate’s House, built in the 1690s.

The Huntington is adding to its renowned Japanese Garden a 320-year-old house from Marugame, Japan. The well-preserved structure is an exquisite example of a working magistrate’s residence that once served as the center of village life and home to generations of the same family. The project is expected to be completed in the latter part of 2023.