Sunday, August 25, 2013


It's been years since I last visited The Huntington, so I thought why not take this opportunity during my staycation to check it out again? Back in the late 80s- early 90s when I lived in LA County, I used to frequent this 207-acre wonderland in the San Gabriel Valley and eventually got to know the grounds like the back of my thumb. One of my favorite pastimes was trekking out there in the morning hours armed with a favorite book, and then finding a nice shady spot on the lawn somewhere near the Rose Garden to repose and read away for a couple hours. Of course, admission was free back then, but it's shot up now to $20 for adults. I'm sure this is needed for the upkeep of this amazing place, but at least they have a free day every first Thursday of the month (with reservations) for those who can't afford the hefty admission price. 

There's simply no way for one to see everything at The Huntington in one day, so I pared our visit down to the following: English Tea in the Rose Garden Tea Room at 11:45am, a short hike over to the relatively new Chinese Garden (the largest Chinese garden outside of China), and a final stopover at the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art where there's currently a special exhibit on Junipero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions. 

CHINESE GARDEN ('Liu Fang Yuan' or the 'Garden of Flowing Fragrance):

8/21/13 Pavilion of the Three Friends.

Tea House. Here's the blurb from their website:
Wednesday-Monday (closed Tuesdays), 12-4 p.m., the tea house features delicious offerings such as aromatic garlic shrimp spring rolls, Cantonese short rib soup with rice noodles, savory barbecue chicken with satay sauce, chicken chow mein, and other delectable entrees. The tea house itself, known as the Hall of the Jade Camellia, features Ming-style furniture adding a touch of traditional elegance to the dining experience. Stop by and enjoy a memorable meal in an incomparable setting. The Tea House is open to Huntington visitors on a walk-in basis; no reservations needed.

Tea House.

Tea House.

Pond of Reflected Greenery.

Jade Ribbon Bridge.

Jade Ribbon Bridge.

Jade Ribbon Bridge.

Phase II of the Chinese Garden under construction: 
"To the north of the lake, the plan calls for a lake-side performance hall for music, dance, opera, and readings; a large courtyard; a small climate-controlled and secure exhibition space; and a covered walkway alongside the Flower Washing Brook that will create small separated gardens and elegant views. To the west, the design calls for completing the boat-shaped pavilion. Pathways will meander up the hill to a penjing (Chinese bonsai) garden with covered corridors and walls punctuated by lattice windows. And on the highest point of the southwest side will be a small viewing pavilion from which to see the entire garden, across the lake, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

The estimated project cost to build is $22 million. Lead gifts received have helped to purchase about 1,000 tons of Tai Hu style rock, brought here courtesy of China Shipping (Group) Company and The Dedeaux Family and DART Trucking Company."


 Rothenberg Loggia: Bronze Sculpture.

Rothenberg Loggia.

Antelope & Hound (1916). Wilhelm Hunt Diederich. 
Rothenberg Loggia.

Bronco Buster (1895). Frederic Remington.
Rothenberg Loggia.

Junipero Serra & the Legacies of the California Missions currently on exhibit in the Erburu wing. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed, but at least I got this shot of the entry sign. 

"Aug. 17, 2013 – Jan. 6, 2014
Virginia Steele Scott Galleries, Erburu Wing

Coinciding with the 300th anniversary of Serra’s birth, this unprecedented exhibition features about 250 objects from The Huntington’s collections and those of 61 lenders in the United States, Mexico, and Spain. Through a display of rare documents, maps, artifacts, and works of art, “Junípero Serra” provides a sweeping examination of Serra’s origins on the Spanish island of Mallorca, where he was born; his years as a missionary in Mexico; and his work to establish a system of missions along the California coastline, beginning with Mission San Diego in 1769. The exhibition also provides the backdrop against which the missions emerged, taking a closer look at the numerous groups of culturally diverse Indians that populated early California. And it examines the impact of Serra and the mission system on that native population, offering a wide variety of contemporary perspectives on his legacy."

Cabinet with Tulip Poplar Panels (1904). Early 20th Century Arts & Crafts. Byrdcliffe Arts Colony.

American Art Pottery.

Fern Vase, Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company (ca. 1900).

Leaded Glass Window from the James A. Patten House, Evanston, IL (1901).

Eighteen-Light Lily Lamp (ca. 1905). Tiffany Studios.

Apollo Weathervane (ca. 1925) and Library Table (1901).

Postwar Craft. Mid-20th Century: Abstraction and California Craft.

Woodland Interior (ca. 1850-55).

Winter Sheldrake (1929).

 Adriatic (1968).

Bird Drinks Creek Dry, Fish Escapes (1965).

Free Floating Clouds (1980).


You need to reserve ahead for the tea room and it's $30 per person. The wait staff was extremely courteous and attentive. The food is not exactly haute cuisine, but certainly very fresh and light. We had a pot of Earl Grey Tea with limitless refills and a basket of fresh scones on the table with Clotted Cream (really good), orange marmalade and wildberry jam. You can partake of any the offerings in the central buffet as many times as you want to (assorted tea breads, tea sandwiches, salads, domestic cheeses, and petite sweets). A fun interlude to beat the heat while exploring the grounds. 


Location: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA  91108

County/State: Los Angeles, CA

Size: 207 acres


Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 12:00 - 4:30pm
Tuesday: closed
Saturday & Sunday: 10:30am - 4:30pm

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Independence Day

Fees: Adults $23.00 / Children under 4 and members free (see website for more fee details)

Telephone: (626)405-2100

1 comment:

  1. Did you know the guard dog sculptures are by Anna Hyatt, the second wife of Archer Huntington, son of Arabella Huntington who was the second wife of Henry Huntington and the first wife of Collis Huntington, Henry's uncle.