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Huntington Library returns to its roots with new project


The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is returning to its roots, with a 15-acre project that's a far cry from its manicured reputation.

The Huntington Ranch will be a laboratory for studying and experimenting with sustainable urban agriculture.

The Ranch, perhaps surprisingly, was born in South Los Angeles. In 2006, when the South Central Farm closed amid controversy over the land, the growers saved banana, guava and dozens of other trees from being bulldozed. The Huntington agreed to store them temporarily.

"Once the trees were here, Jim Folsom [the botanical gardens' director] started percolating this idea," says Lisa Blackburn, spokeswoman for the Huntington.

Read the full story here.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo credit: Mary MacVean / Los Angeles Times

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If the Huntington actually wanted to "return to its roots," it might have to consider that its trust documents call for a "free public library, art gallery, museum, and park, containing objects of artistic, historic, or literary interest." Indeed, admission to the Huntington was free for decades in accord with the documents. The current trustees of the Huntington interpret "free" as "free on the first Thursday of each month, with advance reservations; $20 otherwise."


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