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Sunnylands
Sunnylands historic house.jpg
Sunnylands, 2014.
General information
Status Complete
Location 37977 Bob Hope Drive
Rancho Mirage, California
United States
Coordinates 33°46′38″N 116°24′39″W / 33.7771°N 116.4107°W / 33.7771; -116.4107Coordinates: 33°46′38″N 116°24′39″W / 33.7771°N 116.4107°W / 33.7771; -116.4107
Construction started 1963
Completed 1966
Renovated 2012
Owner Annenberg Foundation
Design and construction
Architect A. Quincy Jones
Renovating team
Architect Frederick B. Fisher
Renovating firm Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects
Other designers Office of James Burnett
Website
sunnylands.org

Sunnylands, the former Annenberg Estate, located in Rancho Mirage, California, is a 200-acre (0.81 km2) estate currently run by The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, a not-for-profit organization and Annenberg family trust.[1][2] The property was owned by Walter and Leonore Annenberg until 2009 and had been used as a winter retreat by the couple from 1966, when the house was completed. The property is "rich with historical significance," according to the city of Rancho Mirage, which declared Sunnylands an historic site in 1990.[3] Located at Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope Drives,[2] the property has been the vacation site of numerous celebrities and public officials. Sunnylands is to some extent regarded as the "Camp David of the West."

History[edit]

Construction on the Sunnylands estate began in 1963.[3] Renowned interior designer and former screen actor William Haines and assistant Ted Graber were the interior designers on the project. University of Southern California professor A. Quincy Jones.[3] designed the 25,000-square-foot[4] midcentury modern house known for its pink roof.[5] At one time, the house was the largest in Riverside County.[2] The property includes the main house, guest quarters, three guest cottages, a private 9-hole golf course, and 11 man-made lakes.[3] When the Annenbergs were in residence, the main house hosted a significant art collection acquired by the couple, with about 50[6] works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Andrew Wyeth, and Monet. Many of their paintings were donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art following Walter Annenberg's death in 2002.[1][4] The house is hidden from public view; a pink-brick wall surrounds the estate, as do hundreds of eucalyptus and olive trees and a thick belt of Tamarisk trees.

Famous guests[edit]

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visit Walter and Leonore Annenberg at Sunnylands, February 1983.

Walter and Leonore Annenberg frequently hosted both political leaders and famous entertainers at Sunnylands. During the Annenbergs' lifetime, eight U.S. presidents, including Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Clinton, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama visited the estate. Following the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the late 1970s, the family of the Shah of Iran was invited to seek refuge at Sunnylands. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip visited for lunch, and Prince Charles made occasional weekend visits.[5] U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also a visitor.[7]

Other notable people who have visited the property include Frank Sinatra (who was married there),[5] Bob Hope, Fred Astaire, Gregory Peck, Ginger Rogers, Bing Crosby, Truman Capote, Mary Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.[5]

Sunnylands Center & Gardens[edit]

Sunnylands Visitor Center, 2012.

Prior to her death in 2009, Mrs. Annenberg identified 15 acres (0.061 km2) adjacent to Sunnylands as the location for a visitor center. Frederick Fisher & Partners designed the 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) building,[8] which is open to the public on a regular basis and offers educational and historic information about the Annenbergs, Sunnylands, and the various Sunnylands collections. Nine acres of desert gardens surround Sunnylands Center. Designed by landscape architect James Burnett, the gardens include more than 53,000 individual plants.[9]

After Ambassador Walter Annenberg's death in 2002 and Mrs. Annenberg's death in March 2009, ownership was transferred to The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. Both Ambassador and Mrs. Annenberg are interred on the property.[1]

The Annenbergs' collection of Impressionist paintings was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York upon Mr. Annenberg’s death.[10] Digital reproductions created by the Metropolitan Museum now hang in the historic house.[4] Much of the Annenbergs' collection of modern sculpture, including works by Rodin, Giacometti, Arp and Agam remained on the estate as part of the Sunnylands Collection. The Collection also includes works by Pablo Picasso, Andrew Wyeth, and Romare Bearden, as well important works of Chinese porcelain, Meissen vases, Chinese cloisonné objects and furniture, Tang Dynasty funerary sculpture, Flora Danica china, Steuben glass, and English silver-gilt objects.[11]

Several sculptures, including a white marble copy of Auguste Rodin's Eternal Spring and Giacometti's Bust of Diego on Stele III, are on permanent display at Sunnylands Center. The Center also features a rotating exhibition related to the art or history of the property. Limited, guided public tours of the house and estate grounds began on March 1, 2012.

"Camp David of the West"[edit]

The Annenbergs envisioned Sunnylands becoming the "Camp David of the West,"[12] a place for national and foreign dignitaries and diplomats to gather for summit meetings and retreats in a relaxed setting, available to leaders from all political parties.,[4] President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, joined the Annenbergs to golf and fish. President Richard Nixon wrote his 1974 State of the Union Address at the house and, after leaving office, was a guest at Sunnylands when President Gerald Ford pardoned him for any wrongdoing in the Watergate scandal. Ford and his wife Betty were frequent guests as well. President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan were close friends of the Annenbergs and visited every New Year's for 18 years.[4] Reagan also delivered one of his final radio addresses to the nation,and signed the intent to pursue NAFTA from Sunnylands in January 1989.[13] President George H. W. Bush hosted a state dinner at the house for Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu in 1990.

President Barack Obama used the site to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013,[14] King Abdullah II of Jordan in 2014,[15] and ASEAN leaders in 2016.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Fessier, Bruce (13 March 2009). "Sunnylands Estate will open for public tours" (fee required). The Desert Sun. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Moore, Steve (April 26, 2008). "Estate to feature Annenberg Education Center at Sunnylands". The Press Enterprise. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d "About Sunnylands". The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Nagourney, Adam (January 23, 2012). "A Retreat for the Rich and Powerful Is Opening Its Doors to the World". New York Times. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Leonore Annenberg: philanthropist". The Times. March 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  6. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (March 13, 2009). "Leonore Annenberg dies at 91; philanthropist, widow of publishing magnate". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ Calmes, jackie (June 7, 2013). "Expansive Setting for Obama's Meeting With Xi". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  8. ^ Gluck, Marissa. "Frederick Fisher: L.A.'s Maverick Architect". KCET Los Angeles. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "ASLA 2012 Professional Awards". American Society of Landscape Architects. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  10. ^ Russell, John (12 March 1991). "Annenberg Picks Met for $1 Billion Gift". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Sunnylands". Sunnylands. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  12. ^ Nagourney, Adam (January 23, 2012). "A Retreat for the Rich and Powerful Is Opening Its Doors to the World". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  13. ^ "Sunnylands". Sunnylands. 1993-12-17. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  14. ^ Sanger, David E. (June 9, 2013). "Obama and Xi Try to Avoid a Cold War Mentality". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-06-09. 
  15. ^ Parsons, Christi (February 13, 2014). "Obama is turning Sunnylands estate into Camp David West". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  16. ^ https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/02/16/joint-statement-us-asean-special-leaders-summit-sunnylands-declaration

Further reading[edit]

  • De Long, David G. (2009). Sunnylands: Art and Architecture of the Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage, California. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0812241617. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunnylands — Please support Wikipedia.
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36023 news items

The Desert Sun

The Desert Sun
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:26:15 -0700

Tickets to see the Sunnylands estate has historically been some of the hardest to come by. If you still have not seen the sprawling winter home of the late Walter and Leonore Annenberg in Rancho Mirage, final tickets go on sale Sunday, May 1 at 9 a.m. PST.

The Desert Sun

The Desert Sun
Thu, 21 Apr 2016 15:06:37 -0700

Monarch butterfly conservation at Sunnylands. Students from Coachella Valley High School's Agriculture and Natural Resources Academy collected and tagged monarch butterflies at Sunnylands as part of a conservation study. 18 of 30. See more video ...

The Desert Sun

The Desert Sun
Thu, 21 Apr 2016 17:15:10 -0700

On a warm, bright morning at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, students from Coachella Valley High School's Agriculture and Natural Resources Academy traipsed across the manicured lawns and wildflower gardens with long, white butterfly nets. Gleeful ...

The Desert Sun

The Desert Sun
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 14:38:52 -0700

One Nation: Let's Talk Climate Change is set for Wednesday, April 20, 6-9 p.m. at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage. Environmental experts will take a deep dive into climate change and sustainability at the event, which also will include entertainment, food ...

The Desert Sun

The Desert Sun
Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:49:55 -0700

One Nation: Climate Change will bring together the top environmental experts and policy makers in California and the United States with influencers, top brands and live music. Our experts will give you the facts on climate change and sustainability so ...

VOA Khmer (English)

VOA Khmer (English)
Mon, 04 Apr 2016 09:11:13 -0700

President Barack Obama, center, walks out with leaders of ASEAN, the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, for the official group photo, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif. President Obama ...

Carrickfergus Times

Carrickfergus Times
Thu, 14 Apr 2016 01:15:00 -0700

A tree has been planted in memory of Carrickfergus schoolboy Jackson Turner, who died in December after a road traffic collision. The ceremony took place on Friday morning at Sunnylands Primary School, where Jackson had been a primary four pupil.

Carrickfergus Times

Carrickfergus Times
Fri, 08 Apr 2016 05:22:30 -0700

A tree has been planted in memory of Carrickfergus schoolboy Jackson Turner. The ceremony took place this morning at Sunnylands Primary School, where Jackson had been a P4 pupil. Jackson Turner. The seven-year-old passed away in December last ...
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