Friday, December 09, 2011

The Huntington Sustains Wind Damage, Looks to Recover

The Huntington, during a previous visit. I wrote a few days ago about how we attempted to visit The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens on Saturday, only to find it closed. The Huntington re-opened on Sunday, but sustained quite a bit of damage from last week's heavy winds. Huntington President Steven S. Koblik sent this message to members yesterday:

Many of you have asked how The Huntington fared after the extraordinary windstorms that buffeted Southern California and especially the San Gabriel Valley. Unfortunately, The Huntington was significantly affected. We believe that by the time we finish with debris removal, as many as 100 specimen trees from the collections will have been lost (more than 50 major trees are down; many others have been so badly damaged they will have to be removed). Large areas have been closed to visitors pending safety assessments for weak and broken limbs. Fortunately, there were no injuries, and only minor damage to structures and garden statuary.

As I write, the Gardens staff is fully involved in clearing, removing, and grinding debris into mulch. Among the high priorities are opening safe walkways in the gardens and clearing the parking lot and perimeter areas. Work will be ongoing at full capacity for weeks, if not months. At the same time, we'll begin the process of renewing the affected gardens.

The Huntington has set up a fund called HARP—the "Huntington Arboreal Recovery Project" -- to start accepting donations to restore the grounds.

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