Archives and Collections
Collection Description: Virginia Robinson Gardens, built in 1911, was the first estate in Beverly Hills. Today, it is listed on the national registry of historic sites. Social doyenne, art collector and philanthropist Mrs. Virginia Robinson resided in the house for thirty years and, before her death in 1977, she gave it to Los Angeles County for the public to enjoy. This historic estate, which includes her home, complete with her extensive collection of American and European fine and decorative arts and surrounding garden, continues to attract visitors from around the world. There are tours for adults and a special children's tour for third graders. In addition, the Gardens hosts lectures and educational series that include talks by scholars, gardening classes, and visits to other significant cultural and botanical sites in the Los Angeles area. The collection consists of art objects personally acquired by Mrs. Robinson and her husband Mr. Harry Robinson. The estate houses a significant library, objects from France, India and Italy (among other countries) and a collection of china and glassware. The 6 acres of garden surrounding the house is bursting with diverse plants and flowers from around the world and remains one of the main attractions of this unique historic site. The Robinson Gardens enriches not only the city of Beverly Hills but the entire county of Los Angeles. Its popularity continues to grow as the staff works towards making the site better known and more accessible to the public.