To ensure that the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Gardens remain a scholarly and botanic paradise for generations to come, the world-renowned institution will begin charging admission next month, abandoning an optional entry fee, officials said.
Beginning March 19, voluntary donations will cease and adult visitors will have to pay $7.50 to see the splendor of the library, art museum and 130-acre botanic gardens in San Marino, according to officials. Seniors and children 12 and older will have to pay $6 and $4 respectively.
Admission, however, remains free for those under 12, members of The Huntington and anyone visiting on the first Thursday of every month, as well as 30,000 school children who participate in its educational program, Huntington officials said.
For more than a decade, the institution has solicited suggested donations at its gate to supplement its endowments, membership dues and concessions.
But in an effort to make the institution more self-sufficient with the cost of each patron's visit outstripping the average donation by some $20 in 1995 alone, the trustees put the wheels in motion last year and got the Attorney General's legal approval for the fees, officials said.