Press Release - Countdown Begins for the Grand Opening of the Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center




Fact Sheet


The Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center is a new entrance complex at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif. The project consists of six and a half acres of gardens as well as 52,000 square feet of new facilities for lectures, conferences, classes, meetings, and visitor amenities, and 42,000 square feet of underground space for collections and institutional storage.



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


Key Dates

Groundbreaking - April 2013

Opening of front section of center - January 14, 2015

Opening of the rest of the center - April 2015



Planning and construction - $68 million

Operations endowment - $10 million


Project Team


The Huntington

Laurie Sowd, vice president for operations and project manager

David Zeidberg, director of the library

Jim Folsom, director of the botanical gardens

Scott Kleinrock, garden design and landscape construction coordinator

Maria Grant, chair of the design committee

Lary Mielke, chair of the construction advisory committee



Architectural Resources Group

Stephen J. Farneth, FAIA, principal in charge

James McLane, AIA, associate principal and project manager


Landscape Architect

Office of Cheryl Barton

Cheryl Barton, FASLA, design principal

Paul Sieron, managing principal



Matt Construction

Jim Muenzer, senior vice president

Drew Wesling, senior project manager

Ken George, superintendent



Acoustical design consultant: Charles M. Salter Associates

Civil engineer: Breen Engineering

Construction and cost consultant: Bert England Design-Build

Environmental graphics: Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill

Fire and life safety consultant: The Fire Consultants

Food service consultant: R.W. Smith and Company

Hardware specifications consultant: Finish Hardware Tech.

Interior design: Brayton Hughes Design Studios

Mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and lighting engineer: Stantec

Parking and traffic consultant: Linscott, Law and Greenspan

Retail store design: Miroglio Architecture and Design

Specifications consultant: Chew Specifications

Structural engineer: Englekirk and Sabol

Theater and audiovisual system design: Auerbach, Pollock, Friedlander

Waterproofing consultant: Simpson, Gumpertz and Heger



  • The complex meets the performance objectives of Southern California Edison's Savings By Design program, using 18% less energy than the current code allows.
  • Loggias serve as circulation spaces, minimizing the amount of air-conditioned interior space.
  • Windows are shaded by loggias, trellises, and deep wall recesses, reducing the heat load.
  • Skylights and windows use energy-efficient glass.
  • Air handlers and air distribution systems are energy efficient.
  • Day lighting is available throughout the interiors.
  • Lighting and light control systems are energy efficient.
  • Chilled water is created on site, providing enhanced energy efficiency.
  • Plumbing systems are water efficient.
  • Water runoff is collected in a system of underground perforated pipes that enables runoff to percolate into the ground.
  • Plants in the gardens are low water use.
  • Light-colored paving reduces heat absorption in the hardscape areas.


Architectural history of site

The property that is now The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens was purchased in 1903 by Henry E. Huntington (1850–1927). Huntington commissioned architect Myron Hunt (1868–1952) to design a 55,000-square-foot Beaux-Arts residence (now the Huntington Art Gallery, completed in 1911 and restored by Earl Corp. and Architectural Resources Group in 2008), an 8,000-foot garage (now the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery, completed in 1911 and restored by Brenda Levin in 2000), and a 96,000-square-foot Library (built in 1919) on the property. John Russell Pope (1874–1937) designed the Mausoleum on the grounds (completed in 1929), which includes sculpture by John Gregory (1879–1958).


Since Henry Huntington’s death, the institution added an entrance arcade and multipurpose room (demolished to make room for the new center) and an extension to the Library building, designed by Whitney R. Smith (1980); the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art (Paul Gray, 1984), and its additional wing, the Lois and Robert F. Erburu Gallery (Frederick Fisher, 2005); as well as a Botanical Center (Offenhauser and Associates, 2000–2004). There have been five additions to the original Library building, including most recently the 90,000-square-foot Munger Research Center (Earl Corp, 2004).


*The Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center was funded entirely with private contributions, with a lead gift from Charles T. Munger.


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Updated 10/2014



Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260,

Lisa Blackburn, 626-405-2140,

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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