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

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PRESS RELEASE  •  NEW STORE  •   FACT SHEET  •  KEY FEATURES  •  ARCHITECTURE & LANDSCAPE  •  ART  •  IMAGES


 

Key Features

Entrance Façade

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. It showcases gifts related to The Huntington’s collections that range from William Morris-inspired textiles to handmade jewelry, from educational children’s gifts to garden decorations. The store also boasts a selection of books for all ages and a range of interests.

 

Coffee Shop

A small coffee shop with an abundance of windows and warm colored tiled walls offers specialty coffees, teas, and other hot beverages, along with sodas, Italian gelato, and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads. It serves 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.

 

June and Merle Banta Education Center

Four classrooms designed with ample windows and brightly colored interiors surround an intimate courtyard. With sinks, whiteboards, and audiovisual capabilities, the rooms suit a variety of educational needs and serve school groups, teacher groups, docents, and other participants in The Huntington’s public education programs. 

 

Rothenberg Hall

Designed as an elegant, comfortable space to host The Huntington’s program of lectures, conferences, and small musical performances, Rothenberg Hall features a 400-seat auditorium with exceptional acoustics and audiovisual capabilities. The interior is warmed by paneling in white oak, the featured wood of the Education and Visitor Center and a wood that also lines walls in the historic buildings on the property.

 

Haaga Hall

A 5,000-square-foot multipurpose room that can be divided in two for smaller events welcomes guests with warm finishes, high ceilings, and walls of windows. It features audiovisual capabilities and flexible lighting to accommodate botanical shows, dinners, and other educational and donor events.

 

The Rose Hills Foundation Garden Court

A focal point of the visitor center because of its distinctive 36-foot-high glass dome, the Garden Court is a sheltered courtyard serving as an attractive setting for events as well as an indoor/outdoor lobby for Rothenberg Hall, Haaga Hall, and the June and Merle Banta Education Center. Lush with palms and ferns, it invites the public to sit and relax when it’s not in use for special programs. 

 

Stewart R. Smith Board Room

Lined with a wall of windows on one side and a 1934 mural by regional artist Millard Sheets (1907–89) on another, the new board room provides a one-of-a-kind meeting space for The Huntington's volunteer leadership and others. Named for the chair of The Huntington’s board of trustees, the board room is richly finished with white oak wainscoting.

 

Café

Visitors will find a variety of food options in the café, including pizza, baked fresh in a brick-lined oven, as well as salads, soups, sandwiches, and sweets. Inside, the café lights up with cheerful orange and white subway tile, a central skylight, and large windows with beautiful garden views. Outside, seating under a bougainvillea arbor offers views of the Desert Garden, Palm Garden, and the Huntington Art Gallery. The café has seating for approximately 300 people.

 

Orientation Gallery

The Huntington’s first comprehensive orientation gallery will make use of an existing space that housed a gift shop before the visitor center project began. Designed to help both first-time and repeat visitors get the most out of their visit to The Huntington, the 2,200-square-foot space is an interactive, dynamic, and inspiring place to learn about the institution’s mission and rich history, plan a visit, or share with others some of one’s own encounters with The Huntington’s collections and grounds.

 

Celebration Garden

At the southernmost end of the complex, the Celebration Garden weaves a carpet of cheerful blooms seasonally, with marigolds, cosmos, and zinnias that surround a stone-lined water runnel bubbling with life to transition visitors from the entrance sequence into the landscape of the estate’s historic Gilded Age core.

 

Collections and Institutional Storage

The Education and Visitor Center 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.

 

 

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Contacts

Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260, tpage@huntington.org

Lisa Blackburn, 626-405-2140, lblackburn@huntington.org

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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