A reader was worried and so was I about the current state and the future of the California plein-aire-style paintings on panels by Frank Moore, painted in 1922 and then left out in … the plain air, though under the covered Picture Bridge at the Huntington Hotel — all this after I wrote about coming changes to the hotel under its current Langham ownership.
I went on a tour of the bridge with General Manager Martin Nicholson and PR Director Elsa Schelin the other day, and, considering how old the panels are and that they’ve seen some weather, the more than a dozen paintings are in remarkably good shape.
Even those facing the west, which seem to have got more rain down the decades, are not looking disastrous. They could use a certain amount of restoration — but none are beyond repair.
The panel above depicts the Old Mill — El Molino Viejo, if you prefer — a very early San Gabriel Valley grain mill that was later owned by Henry Huntington, served as a clubhouse for the hotel’s now-disappeared golf course and was even later lived in by Huntington’s grand-daughter Harriet Doerr and her family.
The bridge is still very much in the plans for the new version of the hotel, which will lose tennis courts and gain lots of spa buildings.