Visitor Plaza Opens - The Arboretum
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Visitor Plaza Opens!

Campaign reaches goal, as construction concludes!

As we celebrate the Arboretum’s 75th Anniversary this year, how fitting that we complete the new Visitor Plaza Project in this historic year. We are grateful to our Arboretum Community for their $9.4 million dollars in philanthropic support – an investment in the Arboretum of tomorrow!

This transformative improvement, the largest undertaken since the Arboretum’s founding, sets new standards in the visitor arrival experience, hospitality and orientation, access for all, and horticultural beauty.


Components of the New Visitor Plaza Project
An Arrival Plaza, a Ticketing Pavilion, a Gift Shop, and a Welcome Plaza comprise the project, along with new accessible ramps that connect the South Parking lot to the main entrance and pathways with rain gardens that provide safe passage for all. Improvements include:
  • New areas for gathering, ticketing, and initial orientation
  • Easing navigation for all visitors
  • Increasing safety by alleviating congestion
  • Honoring our horticultural heritage with beautiful botanical specimens
  • Restoring and re-adapting our mid-20th Century Modern Architecture
  • Improving access for all to full meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)   requirements
 • Providing an unparalleled arrival vista from the historic Bauer Fountain to the  majestic San Gabriel Mountains
 • Constructing an entrance worthy of a world-class botanic garden

Horticultural Walk of Fame
One of the highlights is a Horticultural Walk of Fame that features 10 iconic trees and plants in both living specimen and interpretive signage. These plants were popularized by the Arboretum through its decades-long Plant Introduction Program and are now embedded in the Southern California landscape.

Mid-Century Modern Architecture
The Mid-Century Modern architecture of the original arrival complex has been restored and re-adapted to serve today’s larger visitation. The new Ticketing Pavilion (our former Gift Shop) appears eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places at the local and state levels. The mid-century design that typifies the Gate House consists of concrete blocks arranged in geometric patterns, low-pitch overhanging roofs, and exposed wood framing and rafters that form a signature motif. The new Gift Shop (our former Membership Office) is also from the same period.

Stormwater Capture
Stormwater capture is another important aspect of the project. Under the parking lot pavement are four giant cisterns with a combined 36,600-gallon water storage capacity. Water, collected from surface runoff from parking and plaza areas, will be pumped through an elaborate underground filtration system called a modular wetland. The Arboretum system will solve two problems: Yes, it cleanses runoff, but of equal importance, the system significantly slows the rate at which water reaches the larger Rio Hondo drainage resulting in 90% of that flow recharging aquifers in a typical year. The county is mandating more of these projects that will benefit our region’s future stormwater collection. The Arboretum is pleased to be a part of that progress!

Impact of Visitor Plaza Project
The Visitor Plaza Project is the realization of a long-held vision to build an entrance appropriate for the Arboretum and part of our commitment to enhance these gardens for future generations. Additionally, this project is pivotal to the Arboretum’s continual efforts to make the garden accessible for visitors of all ability levels and to provide exceptional hospitality that enriches enjoyment. The new entrance better serves all and reflects the Arboretum of the 21st century.


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© 2019 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden • 626.821.3222 • 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

© 2019 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Phone: 626.821.3222

301 N. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA, 91007