Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands
Sunnylands, completed in 1966, was the winter home of Ambassador Walter and Leonore Annenberg. Designed by Los Angele architect A. Quincy Jones the 25,000-square-foot midcentury modern house displays original furniture and décor by interior designer William Haines and partner Ted Graber. With a collection of Tang, Ming, and Ching dynasty artifacts, silver-gilt, Meissen porcelain, Stueben glass, Flora Danica, and sculpture by 19th and 20th century artists, Sunnylands has played a role in 20th century American history. Today, as directed by Ambassador Walter and Mrs. Annenberg, the estate serves as a sanctuary for high-level national and world leaders seeking the privacy, the peace, and “the pause” needed for solving the most pressing national and international issues. Called a West Coast Camp David, the estate has hosted eight American presidents, royalty, and business and entertainment icons. Most recently, Sunnylands is known for hosting President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China.
Sunnylands Center & Gardens, which opened to the public in 2012, is a 17,000-square-foot building on a 15-acre parcel adjacent to the historic estate designed by Frederick Fisher & Partners. The nine-acre Gardens, by the Office of James Burnett, feature more than 53,000 individual arid-landscape plants and 1.25 miles of walking paths. Programs offered at Sunnylands Center & Gardens educate the public about the history of Sunnylands, its architecture, art collections, cultural significance, and sustainable practices. These programs include exhibitions of items from the Sunnylands Collection, films, educational kiosks, and a number of free walks and talks. Sunnylands Center & Gardens is open free Thursdays through Sundays, 9 am to 4 pm. Tickets for guided tours of the historic house are available by advance reservation at www.sunnylands.org.