The Reagan Memorial Library is one of thirteen presidential libraries scattered across the United States. I had heard the facility was undergoing renovations in preparation for Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday so I was a little leery about going. As it turned out there was plenty to see and well worth the time and money. We drove up the hill very late in the afternoon to check things out and to determine if we wanted to commit our time and money for the day. The docent explained it would be better to return in the morning to see everything, but that the grounds were very pretty, would be open for a while, and if we stuck around a little longer we would be treated to a beautiful sunset. The photo above is taken from the grounds looking out towards the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands. The strip of lighter color is the ocean.
The next morning we returned and spent the better part of a day exploring the grounds and museum. We were surprised to learn that there are docent led tours if you arrive early enough. We were really lucky to get in on a docent led tour absolutely free, except for the price of admission which is $9.00 for seniors. What was even nicer was that there were only six of us on the tour.
You are greeted by this beautiful statue of President Reagan as you enter the museum.
The young Ronald Reagan is pictured with a dutch boy haircut, which is how Ronald Reagan got to be nick named Dutch. He is the little guy next to his mom.
A piece of the Berlin Wall. This is the back side. The holes have no significance other than they were used in shipping the piece to the US at a cost of over $100,000.00 which was donated by a large US corporation. I found it interesting there were no plaques indicating who the donater was.
The front of the Berlin Wall reminds me of the flower child graffiti of the sixties, which is pretty appropriate for this piece of the wall on exhibit.
Air Force One. A little piece of trivia: When the President is on board the plane is known as Air
Force One and then the call numbers 27000. When the President is not on board the plane is simply known by its call numbers. This particular Air Force One served seven presidents in twenty eight years and flew over a million miles.
The plane was brought to the sight of the pavilion and then the pavilion was built around the plane.
The flying White House mural, by Stan Stokes, depicts planes who have carried US Presidents.
The Reagan's visited O'Farrell's pub in Ireland and many parts of the pub were brought to the US and became part of the working pub and snack bar at the Air Force One Pavilion.
This is the Presidential seal. Note how everything is in multiples of thirteen..depicting the thirteen colonies.
There is a huge replica of the White House at the museum. It includes the East Wing, West Wing, and Oval office. All the furniture, and accessories are 1/12 to scale and every minute detail has been duplicated. The exhibit is fifty feet long and eighteen feet wide. The White House was decorated for the holidays by its creators, the Zweifel family, and they had not taken down the decorations yet.
One of the nice things about traveling with a companion is there is someone to take pictures of me so I can prove I was actually there! Thanks Joel.
View from the gardens.
You're probably wondering where the library is. According to the docent, the library is located under the museum and courtyard and houses important archives. Some of these archives will be exhibited in the new part of the museum known as the National Treasures Gallery. The land for the library was donated and the library, museum, and grounds were all privately funded.