Over the past three or four years the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles has undergone a $123 million transformation and expansion. On a recent visit I was so impressed I decided to become a member. I’ve always enjoyed this museum but only at five-year or so intervals. Now it is definitely worth visiting more often. For one thing, oh joy, there is an Expo Line train station at the new entrance. I can only believe that placing the new (and grand) entrance at what was the back of the museum has everything to do with the arrival of the Metro train.
The above photo is of the new entrance structure with the original 1913 rotunda peeking in at the left hand side. But we will get back to that in a future post.
Since plonking down my dollars for the membership card a month ago I have visited three times. There is that much to take in.
My first visit was with friends to see Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World. This exhibit is on through April 13 and very nicely presented. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the exhibit so this is my one and only camel memento picture before entering!
The second time was with a friend who had never been to the museum and was excited about seeing it, so we stopped off for a brief visit on the way back from another event and she became a member too… I feel like I am converting people to a new religion!
The third time was on my own. I wanted to spend some quality time in the new and still growing (oops, no pun intended, really) Nature Gardens.
This post is about the 3 1/2-acre Nature Gardens which replaced some ugly parking lots (yes, in LA we have several instances of turning parking lots into gardens and parks, who woulda thunk?). When you enter the museum from the train station and get your ticket at the outdoor ticket tent, you walk directly into the gardens. What a nice welcome.
This is the Living Wall which borders the north side of the Nature Gardens. I was fascinated by the multi-colored rocks and the plant life growing out of them. This is a living art piece!
As the sign says, the general idea of the wall is to provide habitat for various kinds of creatures and plants. Whoever came up with the idea of using the blackboards and “chalk” type was a genius. These information boards are used throughout the gardens.
I could take photos of this rock garden wall all day.
In my next post we will move away from the Living Wall into other parts of the Nature Gardens.
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