Explore the Visitor Center

Explore the Visitor Center

Visitor CenterNeither the Temples nor generations of Bixby’s had need for a visitor center. When the site became a museum under the City of Long Beach the garage served for decades as a visitor center. The master plan recognized that the museum had grown out the tight space and a capital campaign proceeded to raise funds to serve the sites needs.

What had once been part of the buffer zone for the Bixby’s in the 1930s became a parking lot for the new museum in the 1950s. In 2012 the two story building was set into the slope to give the appearance of the adobe the Nieto’s descendants the Cotas had on the property before Temple built the grand adobe house in 1841.

Visitor CenterAn adobe structure in the early 1800s would not have had any garden so the minimal landscaping is done with California native plants to tie the fragmented remnants of the buffer zone now seen as the drive, arroyo, visitor center and California native garden. The decomposed granite adds to the austere feel, although we break up the expanse with potted plants. The island has plants that date back to the thirties.
Handicap parking is next to the building, benches are under the veranda, restrooms are at the end of the building and a drinking fountain is just off the veranda. The gift shop is located inside.

Notable Plants

  • Western Redbud – Cercis occidentalis
  • Laurel Sumac – Malsoma laurinus
  • Toyon – Heteromeles arbutifolia