October 2019 Happenings


 

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Children’s Wildlife Pond

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, a celebration took place in the King Palm Forest of the Virginia Robinson Estate. A gold shovel, held by Patti Reinstein, the President of the Friends of Robinson Gardens and Joan Selwyn, its Founder, scooped up soil signifying the start of the construction of a Children’s Wildlife Pond. The pond will be a teaching tool for visitors, especially school children. Docents will be able to point out various insects, aquatic plants, and animals that grow and thrive in this type of environment, and the children will learn how communities of plants, animals, and insects rely upon one another for continued life. Years ago President Ronald Reagan sent a letter to the Friends of Robinson Gardens praising the partnership created between the Friends of Robinson Gardens and the County of Los Angeles. He said it was a fine example of how the public and private sectors can…

Message from Superintendent Timothy Lindsay

This fall we started to build a “Children’s Wildlife Pond.” It is the first new design element in the garden since Virginia’s passing. This body of water will be a rich ecosystem perfect for teaching science lessons. Children will be able to get acquainted with tadpoles, frogs, and turtles, along with visiting exotic migratory birds.  Water lilies and cattails will also be grown to study plant and flower anatomy. Trained docents will teach students using the aquatic plants growing in the pond. The important history of paper made from the papyrus plant will be included in their lesson. Invented around 100 BC in China, paper today still serves as an important link in educating people through the printed word. This project, when completed, is the quintessential “teaching tool” needed to fulfill the education and enjoyment of the young minds that visit and learn from our garden every day. Please consider…

In Memory of Nancy Thompson Call, Niece of Virginia Robinson

On Saturday, August 17, 2019, at Virginia Robinson Gardens, a memorial was held for Virginia Robinson’s niece, Nancy Thompson. Nancy, a native of Beverly Hills, grew up close to Virginia, up on Benedict Canyon on another 13-acre parcel of land; most special to Nancy were her horses. On occasion, she was known to ride one of her horses to see her Aunt Gege. Virginia and Nancy were both descendants of Leslie Brand of Brand Library in Glendale where Nancy will rest. The same architect designed Brand Library as well as Virginia Robinson’s house. He was Virginia’s father, Nathaniel Dryden. Nancy remained in Beverly Hills the major part of her life. She attended Marlborough School for Girls and USC. She was instrumental in initiating projects for the Junior League, the Docent Council at LACMA, Otis Art Institute and the Philharmonic. She married Ted Call, one of three sons of Margaret and…

Spotlight on Dorothy Kamins

  Each month we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, donor or sponsor of Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) — those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you know a little bit about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to the Virginia Robinson Gardens and to the community, and what they do that is so impactful. This month, we spotlight Dorothy Kamins, our distinguished Patron and Angel member. The Friends are so grateful for her tremendous support for Robinson Gardens. Mrs. Kamins on numerous occasions has generously opened her beautiful garden for guests to visit during our annual Garden Tour. The first occasion featured her historical home and terraced gardens. The second occasion she opened her garden was to feature the new garden, and supporting structures and water features on the property they purchased next door to the original property. Also, very generously,…

Beverly Hills Courier: 2019 Patron Gala

  2019 PATRON GALA – RICK’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN By Laura Coleman, September 19, 2019   The warm summer nights provided the perfect accompaniment to two extraordinary galas held this month at Beverly Hills’ first estate, the historic Virginia Robinson Gardens. Built in 1911, the onetime residence of Virginia and Harry Robinson contains a breathtaking array of gorgeous flora stretching across six acres that once provided the backdrop for elegant soirees where Hollywood stars like Fred Astaire, Sophia Loren and Charlie Chaplin sipped champagne well into the wee hours of dawn. This past Saturday the Friends of Robinson Gardens, which are dedicated to continuing Mrs. Robinson’s legacy of helping children, held their annual Patron Gala to the theme of “Rick’s Café Américain” á la “Casablanca.” The previous weekend, El Nido Family Centers held its fifth annual Garden Gala on the property, honoring international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP with the…

Message from President Patti Reinstein

Dear Friends, I have decided that Summer should be given a speeding ticket! It whisked by us in the blink of an eye. But as we know, lurking behind every summer is a fall just waiting to happen… and with the fall comes a new season for the Friends of Robinson Gardens. I welcome you back and hope that that you are refreshed and recharged and ready to renew your commitment to this incredible estate. In partnership with the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, the Friends has been given the responsibility for the restoration, renovation, and an active Children’s Science Program that serves our community and maintains this historic treasure in the heart of Beverly Hills. Committees have been active all summer long. Our Membership Committee has worked diligently on our first handbook and other materials to integrate new members into the Friends. They have simplified brochures and planned several…

Mark Lehner and the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders

Charming and brilliant, renowned archaeologist Mark Lehner gave a fascinating lecture entitled “Finding the People of the Pyramids” on Wednesday, August 18, 2019 at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Board member Janice Jerde, a close personal and professional friend of Mark for 30 years, introduced him, saying, “Mark’s work in Egypt spans 40 years, and he has sustained his passion, excitement, and enthusiasm from the very beginning.” Mark is the Director and President of Ancient Egypt Research Associates, (AERA), an American nonprofit organization. In 1984, Mark began the Giza plateau mapping project to understand how the pyramid builders organized and changed this landscape. He completed a PhD from Yale University and started to teach at the University of Chicago. However, he left this tenure-track position to save “the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders,” when he realized it was under direct threat of urban expansion. Janice brought two of the books…