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Huntington Library announces final groundbreaking date on its Chinese Garden

Huntington Library announces final groundbreaking date on its Chinese Garden
A rendering of the Huntington’s Chinese Garden, Liu Fang Yuan, as it will appear when it’s completed in February 2020. (Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.)

More change is afoot at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

The San Marino-based museum announced on Wednesday the next – and final – phase of construction on its Chinese Garden. It plans to break ground on this phase of its Liu Fang Yuan (the Garden of Flowing Fragrance), a $23-million project, Aug. 28.

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The garden originally opened in 2008 and was expanded in 2014. It now includes seven pavilions and a rock grotto by a one-acre lake. The newest phase of construction will bring the garden from 3.5 acres to 12 acres and includes the addition of a more than 2,500-square-foot exhibition complex, a space for events and a new café, among other features.

Liu Fang Yuan will be among the largest classical-style gardens of its kind, globally. The Huntington aims to complete construction, steered by Chinese and American architects, contractors and craftsmen, by February 2020.

“This is a long-held dream, to put the finishing touches on a project that has engaged thousands of visitors and scores of individuals — from donors and diplomats to staff, scholars, and volunteers,” Huntington interim President Steve Hindle said in a statement. “The Chinese Garden is essential to our mission in that it expands our research and educational programs and provides extraordinary inspiration that extends across cultures. We are profoundly grateful to those who have made it possible.”

The Suzhou Institute of Landscape Architecture Design in China created the conceptual designs for the garden; L.A. architect Jim Fry developed the construction plans for the project.

The Huntington has raised $19 million of the $23 million it needs to complete the garden. In all, the cost of all three of the garden’s construction phases will amount to $53 million.

Earlier this month, Karen R. Lawrence, former president of Sarah Lawrence College, was appointed the Huntington’s new president. Lawrence takes her post Sept. 1.

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