Mark Taper Forum
The Mark Taper Forum is a 739-seat thrust stage at the Los Angeles Music Center designed by Welton Becket and Associates on the Bunker Hill section of Downtown Los Angeles. Named for real estate developer Mark Taper, the Forum, the neighboring Ahmanson Theatre and the Kirk Douglas Theatre are all operated by the Center Theatre Group; the Mark Taper Forum opened in 1967 as part of the Los Angeles Music Center, the West Coast equivalent of Lincoln Center, designed by Los Angeles architect Welton Becket. The smallest of the three venues, the Taper is flanked by the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Ahmanson Theatre on the Music Center Plaza. Becket designed the center in the style of New Formalism; the circular Taper is considered one of his best works, featuring a distinctive decorated drum of a design with its exterior wrapped in a lacy precast relief by Jacques Overhoff. The lobby has a curving, abalone wall by Tony Duquette. Charles Moore described Becket's design for the Music Center as "Late Imperial Depression-Style cake".
Becket designed the building not knowing. Various proposals included chamber music concerts, or grand jury meetings. Dorothy Chandler, the Los Angeles cultural leader, convinced Center Theater Group artistic director Gordon Davidson to use the Taper. For 38 years, Davidson was the artistic director of Center Theater Group, which ran the Ahmanson and the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City; the Taper became known for its thrust stage, jutting into a classical, semicircular amphitheater, which creates an intimate relationship between audience and performer. The building bears an architectural resemblance to Carousel Theatre at Disneyland designed by Welton Becket and Associates in 1967, it is similar in design concept and size to the Dallas Theatre Center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the original Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, in Minneapolis. On October 8, 1993, a memorial was held in the actor Richard Jordan's honor, it was the same day. A $30-million renovation of the Taper led by the Los Angeles firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios began in July 2007 after the 2006/2007 season.
The theater reopened on August 30, 2008 for the first preview of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves. The Taper, as designed, was a case study in what happens when a theater is built without a tenant in mind. Fitting the auditorium into the circular building left a tiny backstage and only a narrow, curved hallway for a lobby; the renovation updated nearly everything, not concrete and did not disrupt the building's circular shape. To create a larger main lobby, the designers reduced the ticket booth and removed about 30 parking spaces from the lower-level garage to move the restrooms below ground as part of a stylized lounge with gold, curved couches and mosaics of mirrored tiles that fit the era in which the building was designed; the theater seats are wider and total capacity was reduced from 745 to 739. The entrance was moved to the plaza level and an elevator added to increase the accessibility of the theater; the original theater had few women's restrooms opening with four women's stalls for a 750-seat hall.
The renovation increased the number of stalls to 16. Backstage, changes included removing an outdated stage "treadmill" and old air-conditioning equipment, installing a modern lighting grid, enlarging the load-in door to 6 feet by 9 feet. A wardrobe room was constructed in the space occupied by the air-conditioning equipment; the auditorium was renamed the Amelia Taper Auditorium after a $2 million gift from the S. Mark Taper Foundation; the Taper has presented innovative plays since its 1967-opening of The Devils from playwright John Whiting about the sexual fantasies of a 17th-century priest and a sexually repressed nun. The play received a great deal of protest from local religious leaders and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, although the production continued; the production of such plays as Murderous Angels, The Dream on Monkey Mountain, Children of a Lesser God, The Shadow Box, The Kentucky Cycle and Angels in America has established definition of a "Taper play". The Taper has been host to world premiere productions of many notable plays including The Shadow Box, Zoot Suit, Children of a Lesser God, Neil Simon's I Ought To Be In Pictures, Lanford Wilson's Burn This, Jelly's Last Jam, Angels in America, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, David Henry Hwang's revised version of Flower Drum Song, August Wilson's Radio Golf and the musical 13.
In all, the theater has 5 Tony Awards to its credit. Hunt, Total Design: Architecture of Welton Becket, New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1972
South Coast Botanic Garden
The South Coast Botanic Garden is a 35 hectare garden in the Palos Verdes Hills, in Palos Verdes, United States, about 16 km south of Los Angeles International Airport. It has over 150,000 landscaped plants and trees from 140 families, 700 genera, 2,000 different species, including flowering fruit trees, Coast Redwoods and Pittosporum, it is rich in plants from Australia and South Africa. Its gardens include the Water-wise Garden, Herb Garden, English Rose Garden, Garden of the Senses. A small lake and stream bed attract various birds such as ducks, geese and herons. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded; the present garden site was operated as an open pit mine from 1929 until 1956, producing over one million tons of crude diatomite. With declining production, the land was sold in 1957 to the County of Los Angeles for a sanitary landfill, in use until 1965. However, starting in 1961, an experiment in land reclamation began when County Board of Supervisors approved a motion establishing 87 acres as the site of the South Coast Botanic Garden, landscaped over 3.5 million tons of refuse, in a classic example of land recycling.
The Sanitation District in cooperation with other County agencies carried out initial planning and contouring. Operating responsibilities were given to the Los Angeles County Department of Arboreta and Botanic Gardens. In April 1961, the first large-scale planting took place on completed fill overlooking Rolling Hills Road, with over 40,000 plants donated by individuals and the County Arboretum; the site presents unusual difficulties in gardening. First, its soil is composed entirely of diatomaceous earth. Second, because of the diverse nature and thickness of the fill, settling rates vary throughout the garden resulting in frequent irrigation system breakage. Third, heat is caused by decomposition of organic matter below the soil surface, it is accompanied by the production of gases carbon dioxide and methane. List of botanical gardens in the United States South Coast Botanic Garden SeeTheGlobe.com article on Visiting the South Coast Botanic Garden
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
With 18,000 employees, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department the County of Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, is the nation's largest sheriff's department. The department's three main responsibilities entail providing patrol services for 153 unincorporated communities of Los Angeles County, California and 42 cities, providing courthouse security for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the housing and transportation of inmates within the county jail system. In addition, the department contracts with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metrolink, provides law enforcement services to ten community colleges, patrols over 177 county parks, golf courses, special event venues, two major lakes, 16 hospitals, over 300 county facilities; the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's transit division alone is the second largest transit police force in the world, aside from the New York City Police Department. This is through policing contracts of the Metro trains and buses of the Los Angeles Metro and Metrolink.
Furthermore, with policing contracts with nine campuses of the Los Angeles Community College and Lancaster Community College District, the LASD is the largest community policing agency in the United States. The Sheriff's Department's headquarters are located in downtown Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice; the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is the largest sheriff's department and the fourth largest local policing agency in the United States. There are 17,926 employees. There are 791 reserve deputies and 400 explorers. On December 1, 2014, Jim McDonnell took the oath of office and was sworn in as the 32nd Los Angeles County Sheriff. LASD deputies provided law enforcement services to over three million residents in an area of 3,171 square miles of the 4,083 square miles on the county, both in the unincorporated County land and within the 42 contract cities; the following are the LASD Divisions: Sheriff's Headquarters Undersheriff Sheriff's Information Bureau Legal Advisory Unit Constitutional Policy Advisors Community Outreach Strategic Communications Chief of Staff Legislative Unit Audit and Accountability Bureau Professional Standards & Training Division Advocacy Unit Internal Affairs Bureau Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau Risk Management Bureau Training Bureau Administrative & Professional Standards - includes: Administrative Services Division - includes: Contract Law Enforcement Bureau Facilities Planning Bureau Facilities Services Bureau Financial Programs Fiscal Administration Personnel Command Personnel Administration Bureau Psychological Services Bureau Bureau of Labor Relations & Compliance Technology & Support Division Communications & Fleet Management Bureau Data Systems Bureau Records & Identification Bureau Scientific Services Bureau Custody Operations - includes.
This includes staffing bailiffs, operating courthouse lock-ups, serving and enforcing civil and criminal process. Court Services provides these services for 48 courthouse locations throughout Los Angeles County, which include the following: Civil Management Bureau Court Services Central Court Services East Court Services West Court Services Transportation Bureau Special Operations Division Aero Bureau Special Enforcement Bureau - Special Enforcement Detail, Canine Services Detail, Emergency Services Detail Emergency Operations Bureau which includes: Industrial Relations Detail - maintains liaison between the business and labor communities; the Detail trains patrol personnel in the handling of labor disputes and picket lines. Arson Explosives Detail Hazardous Material Detail Transit Services Bureau Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority MetroLink Patrol Operations are divided amongst as follows: North Patrol Division - Lancaster, Malibu/Lost Hills, Santa Clarita Valley, West Hollywood.
South Patrol Division - Carson, Lakewood, Lomita and Pico Rivera. East Patrol Division - Altadena, Crescenta Valley, San Dimas and Walnut/Diamond Bar. Central Patrol Division - Avalon, Compton, Marina Del Rey, South Los Angeles. Detective Division - Contains the following.
Government of Los Angeles County
The Government of Los Angeles County is defined and authorized under the California Constitution, California law, the Charter of the County of Los Angeles. Much of the Government of California is in practice the responsibility of county governments, such as the Government of Los Angeles County; the County government provides countywide services such as elections and voter registration, law enforcement, vital records, property records, tax collection, public health, health care, social services. In addition the County serves as the local government for all unincorporated areas, it is composed of the elected five-member Board of Supervisors, several other elected offices including the Sheriff, District Attorney, Assessor, numerous county departments and entities under the supervision of the chief executive officer. Some chartered cities such as Los Angeles and Inglewood provide municipal services such as police, libraries and recreation, zoning. Other cities arrange to have the County provide all of these services under contract.
In addition, several entities of the government of California have jurisdiction coterminous with Los Angeles County, such as the Los Angeles Superior Court Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States, the largest municipal government in the nation. If the County were a state, it would be the 9th most populous state in the United States, in between Georgia and North Carolina; the County has an annual budget of over $28.2 billion, equal to combined budgets of Indiana and Delaware. The county government employs over 100,000 people, making it larger than the government workforces of most US states. Under its foundational Charter, the five-member elected Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is the county legislature; the board operates in a legislative and quasi-judicial capacity. As a legislative authority, it can pass ordinances for the unincorporated areas; as an executive body, it can tell the county departments what to do, how to do it. As a quasi-judicial body, the Board is the final venue of appeal in the local planning process, holds public hearings on various agenda items.
These were the board members as of 5 December 2016: Hilda Solis, district 1 Mark Ridley-Thomas, district 2 Sheila Kuehl, district 3 Janice Hahn, district 4 Kathryn Barger, district 5A local nickname sometimes used for the board is the "five little kings." In addition to the board of supervisors, there are several elected officers that form the Government of Los Angeles County that are required by the California Constitution and California law and authorized under the Charter. The Los Angeles County Sheriff provides general-service law enforcement to unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, serving as the equivalent of the county police for unincorporated areas of the county as well as incorporated cities within the county that have contracted with the agency for law enforcement. Of the 88 cities in Los Angeles County, 40 are just such "contract cities," in an arrangement pioneered in 1954 by the city of Lakewood and known as the Lakewood Plan; the Los Angeles County District Attorney prosecutes all felony crimes that occur anywhere within Los Angeles County, any misdemeanor crimes that occur within the unincorporated areas of the county, for any city that has abdicated this responsibility to the county.
The City of Los Angeles, for example, has its own city attorney to handle most misdemeanor crimes and infractions the occurred within the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County Assessor is the assessor responsible for discovering all taxable property in Los Angeles County except for state-assessed property and inventorying and listing all the taxable property, valuing the property, enrolling the property on the local assessment roll; the Chief Executive Officer known the chief administrative officer, assists the board of supervisors in handling the mounting administrative details of the county and coordinating between departments. From 2007 to 2015, the CEO had direct supervision over 31 of the 37 departments while the other departments did not report to the CEO. Prior to 2007 and from 2015 and following, the CEO provides an strategic coordination and support role. Departments submit recommendations and action items directly to the Board offices without CEO input required, are fired and hired directly by the board, with the CEO providing administrative support in negotiating department head salaries and facilitating communications between departments when necessary.
Board offices felt that the CEO added bureaucracy and that the additional deputy and assistant CEOs added little value. Other tasks given to the CEO include preparation and control of the annual budget in consultation with departments, providing leadership and direction for Board-sponsored initiatives and priorities and advocacy of state and federal legislation; the CEO's office administers the risk management and insurance programs, facilitates departments addressing unincorporated area issues and international protocol issues, manages the County's employee relations program and compensation/classification systems, represents the board in labor negotiations, monitors cable television com
Los Angeles the City of Los Angeles and known by its initials L. A. is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California; the city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity and the entertainment industry, its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America. Los Angeles is in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the other; the city proper, which covers about 469 square miles, is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second largest in the United States after that of New York City, with a population of 13.1 million. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area the nation's second most populous area with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
Los Angeles is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States, with a diverse economy in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. Los Angeles is famous as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index; the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a gross metropolitan product of $1.044 trillion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the event for a third time in 2028; the city hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1990 and 2006, was one of 9 American cities to host the 1994 FIFA men's soccer World Cup and one of 8 to host the 1999 FIFA women's soccer World Cup, hosting the final match for both tournaments. Home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California.
The city was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood; the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California assured the city's continued rapid growth; the Los Angeles coastal area was settled by the Chumash tribes. A Gabrieleño settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning "poison oak place". Maritime explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542 while on an official military exploring expedition moving north along the Pacific coast from earlier colonizing bases of New Spain in Central and South America.
Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo they called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles,'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels'; the present-day city has the largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African and European ancestry; the settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico.
During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847. Railroads arrived with the completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885. Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output. By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000; the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city. Due to clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent city and communities became compelled to annex themselves into Los Angeles.
Los Angeles created the first municipal zoning ordinance in the United States. On September 14, 1908, the Los Angeles City Council promulgated residential and industrial land use zones; the new ordinance established three residential zones of a single type, where industrial uses were
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is an art museum located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Miracle Mile vicinity of Los Angeles. LACMA is on Museum Row, adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits. LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, it attracts nearly a million visitors annually. It holds more than 150,000 works spanning the history of art from ancient times to the present. In addition to art exhibits, the museum features concert series; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was established as a museum in 1961. Prior to this, LACMA was part of the Los Angeles Museum of History and Art, founded in 1910 in Exposition Park near the University of Southern California. Howard F. Ahmanson, Sr. Anna Bing Arnold and Bart Lytton were the first principal patrons of the museum. Ahmanson made the lead donation of $2 million, convincing the museum board that sufficient funds could be raised to establish the new museum. In 1965 the museum moved to a new Wilshire Boulevard complex as an independent, art-focused institution, the largest new museum to be built in the United States after the National Gallery of Art.
The museum, built in a style similar to Lincoln Center and the Los Angeles Music Center, consisted of three buildings: the Ahmanson Building, the Bing Center, the Lytton Gallery. The board selected LA architect William Pereira over the directors' recommendation of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the buildings. According to a 1965 Los Angeles Times story, the total cost of the three buildings was $11.5 million. Construction began in 1963, was undertaken by the Del E. Webb Corporation. Construction was completed in early 1965. At the time, the Los Angeles Music Center and LACMA were concurrent large civic projects which vied for attention and donors in Los Angeles; when the museum opened, the buildings were surrounded by reflecting pools, but they were filled in and covered over when tar from the adjacent La Brea Tar Pits began seeping in. Money poured into LACMA during the boom years of the 1980s, a $209 million in private donations during director Earl Powell's tenure. To house its growing collections of modern and contemporary art and to provide more space for exhibitions, the museum hired the architectural firm of Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates to design its $35.3-million, 115,000-square-foot Robert O. Anderson Building for 20th-century art, which opened in 1986.
In the far-reaching expansion, museum-goers henceforth entered through the new roofed central court, nearly an acre of space bounded by the museum's four buildings. The museum's Pavilion for Japanese Art, designed by maverick architect Bruce Goff, opened in 1988, as did the B. Gerald Cantor Sculpture Garden of Rodin bronzes. In 1999, the Hancock Park Improvement Project was complete, the LACMA-adjacent park was inaugurated with a free public celebration; the $10-million renovation replaced dead trees and bare earth with picnic facilities, viewing sites for the La Brea tar pits and a 150-seat red granite amphitheater designed by artist Jackie Ferrara. In 1994, LACMA purchased the adjacent former May Company department store building, an impressive example of streamline moderne architecture designed by Albert C. Martin Sr. LACMA West increased the museum's size by 30 percent when the building opened in 1998. In 2004 LACMA's Board of Trustees unanimously approved a plan for LACMA's transformation by architect Rem Koolhaas, who had proposed razing all the current buildings and constructing an new single, tent-topped structure, estimated to cost $200 million to $300 million.
Kohlhaas edged out French architect Jean Nouvel, who would have added a major building while renovating the older facilities. The list of candidates had narrowed to five in May 2001: Koolhaas, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind and Thom Mayne. However, the project soon stalled. In 2004 LACMA's Board of Trustees unanimously approved plans to transform the museum, led by architect Renzo Piano; the planned transformation consisted of three phases. Phase I started in 2004 and was completed in February 2008; the renovations required demolishing the parking structure on Ogden Avenue and with it LACMA-commissioned graffiti art by street artists Margaret Kilgallen and Barry McGee. The entry pavilion is a key point in architect Renzo Piano's plan to unify LACMA's sprawling confusing layout of buildings; the BP Grand Entrance and the adjacent Broad Contemporary Art Museum comprise the $191 million first phase of the three-part expansion and renovation campaign. BCAM is named for Edy Broad, who gave $60 million to LACMA's campaign.
BCAM opened on February 2008, adding 58,000 square feet of exhibition space to the museum. In 2010 the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion opened to the public, providing the largest purpose-built lit, open-plan museum space in the world; the second phase was intended to turn the May building into new offices and galleries, designed by SPF Architects. As proposed, it would have had flexible gallery space, education space, administrative offices, a new restaurant, a gift shop and a bookstore, as well as study centers for the museum's departments of costume and textiles and prints and drawings, a roof sculpture garden with two works by James Turrell. However, construction of this phase was halted in November 2010. Phase two and three were never completed. In October 2011, LACMA entered into an agreement with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences under which the Academ
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is the largest natural and historical museum in the western United States. Its collections include nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts and cover 4.5 billion years of history. This large collection is comprised not only of specimens for exhibition, but of vast research collections housed on and offsite; the museum is an association of three Los Angeles area museums: The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, The Page Museum at The La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park and The William S. Hart Ranch and Museum in Newhall, Santa Clarita, California; the three museums work together to achieve their common mission: "to inspire wonder and responsibility for our natural and cultural worlds." NHM opened in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, United States in 1913 as The Museum of History and Art. The moving force behind it was a museum association founded in 1910, its distinctive main building, with fitted marble walls and domed and colonnaded rotunda, is on The National Register of Historic Places.
Additional wings opened in 1925, 1930, 1960, 1976. The museum was divided in 1961 into The Los Angeles County Museum of History and Science and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. LACMA moved to new quarters on Wilshire Boulevard in 1965, the Museum of History and Science was renamed The Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History; the museum renamed itself again, becoming The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. In 2003, the museum began a campaign to transform its visitor experience; the museum reopened its seismically retrofitted renovated 1913 rotunda, along with the new Age of Mammals exhibition. In 2010, its Dinosaur Hall opened in July 2011. A new Los Angeles history exhibition, Becoming Los Angeles, opened in 2013; the outdoor Nature Gardens and Nature Lab, which explore L. A. wildlife opened in 2013. The museum maintains research and collections in the following fields: Annelida Anthropology and Archaeology Ethnology Crustacea Echinoderms Entomology Herpetology History Ichthyology Invertebrate paleontology Malacology Mammalogy Mineralogy Ornithology Vertebrate paleontologyThe museum has three floors of permanent exhibits.
Among the most popular museum displays are those devoted to animal habitats, pre-Columbian cultures, The Ralph M. Parsons Discovery Center and Insect Zoo, the new Nature Lab, which explores urban wildlife in Southern California; the museum's collections are strong in many fields, but the mineralogy and Pleistocene paleontology are the most esteemed, the latter thanks to the wealth of specimens collected from The La Brea Tar Pits. The museum has 30 million specimens representing marine zoology; these include one of the largest collections of marine mammal remains in the world, housed in a warehouse off site, which at over 5,000 specimens is second in size only to that of The Smithsonian. The museum's collection of historical documents is held in The Seaver Center for Western History Research; the museum hosts regular special exhibitions which advance its mission. Recent special exhibits have included Pterosaurs; the museum hosts a butterfly pavilion outside every spring and summer and a spider pavilion on the same site in the fall.
Over the years, the museum has built additions onto its original building. Dedicated when The Natural History Museum opened its doors in 1913, the rotunda is one of the museum's most elegant and popular spaces. Lined with marble columns and crowned by a stained glass dome, the room is the home of the first piece of public art funded by Los Angeles County, a Beaux Arts statue by Julia Bracken Wendt entitled Three Muses, or History and Art; this hall is among the most distinctive locales in Los Angeles and has been used as a filming location. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County official website William S. Hart Ranch and Museum George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits Review of the Museum's new Dinosaur Hall at the New York Times, July 19, 2011Slide show of exhibit