Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Huntington Library

The Huntington Library is located in San Marino, CA and worth going to.  It is a bit expensive at $20.00 during the week and $23.00 on the weekends.  The only day it is closed is Tuesday.  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, it is open from 12-4:30 and Saturday and Sunday, it is open from 10:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m.  There is a free day the first Thursday of every month.  Parking is free and no reservations are needed.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington.  The extensive art collection focuses on 18th and 19th century European art and 17th to mid 20th century American art.  The buildings are beautiful. The property also includes approximately 120 acres of specialized botanical gardens, most notably the Japanese Garden, the Desert Garden and the Chinese Garden.  The Huntington has a tea house, which does require reservations and during rose season, the rose garden is beautiful, with hundreds of roses.  The Japanese Garden was recently renovated.  Many movies have been filmed at The Huntington.

Henry Huntington played a large role in the growth of Southern California.  Huntington was born in 1850 in Oneonta, New York and was the nephew and heir of Colis P Huntington, one of the Big Four railroad tycoons of 19th-century California.  In 1892, Huntington relocated to San Francisco with his first wife, Mary Alice Prentice, and their four children.  He divorced Mary Alice Prentice in 1906 , and in 1913 married his uncle's widow, Arabella Huntington.  They relocated from San San Francisco to Los Angeles.  He purchased a property of more than 500 acres that was then known as the San Marino Ranch, and purchased other large tracts of land in the  Pasadena and Los Angeles areas for urban and suburban development.  Mr. Huntington was president of the Pacific Electric Railway Company and the Los Angeles Railway Company.  Mr. Huntington spearheaded regional transportation efforts to link together far-flung communities, supporting growth of those communities as well as promoting commerce, recreation and tourism.  He was one of the founders of the city of San Marino, which incorporated in 1913.

Arabella Huntington was a large influence in Mr. Huntington's interest in art.  Before his death in 1927, Mr. Huntington acquired the largest group of 18th century British portraits ever assembled by any one person and this was due to the post -World War I European market "ready to sell almost anything."  In accordance with Huntington's will, the collection, then worth $50 million, opened to the public in 1928.


  1. Nice - so it's not necessarily the "traditional" library, correct?

    1. Oh no! It is not a typical or traditional library! It is a library with historical books, a museum and a botanical garden!