Climb aboard an air conditioned bus and enjoy a humorous and engaging tour of historic Redlands led by University alumnus and trustee Larry Burgess with his companions Nathan Gonzales and Don McCue.
The first stop on the tour will be the beautiful A.K. Smiley Public Library. This architectural treasure opened in 1898 thanks to Alfred Smiley, one of Redlands’ winter residents from the east. A stroll through the Smiley Library gives the impression of a very finely furnished country home; view the curved staircase with its carved banister in the computer room, or rest yourself in one of the padded wicker chairs while browsing a magazine. The sunlight filters through the Venetian blinds and the patrons, who seem more like guests, take their ease in a scene that might have been painted by Sargent.
There is a classical statuary worthy of a museum, and tiny, cozy hardwood nooks, each with its own fire grate to warm the feet of nineteenth-century readers. The Smiley has a reading room of the old style, with long, a rose window and graceful timber arches overhead.
The children’s library is a miniature of the main room; built in 1920, it is almost heartbreakingly charming, with its own stained-glass windows, each a tiny treasure: there is John Tenniel’s Alice and the Cheshire Cat and Mock Turtle; Frank Baum’s Dorothy, Toto, her famous trio of fellow travelers and even the flying monkeys, all aglow from the afternoon sun.
Across the garden is the Lincoln Memorial Shrine. Utilizing some of the finest manuscripts, artifacts, and broadsides, the Lincoln Memorial Shrine is proud to host a special exhibit commemorating the Bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. The Lincoln Memorial Shrine was originally designed in an octagon shape by noted Southern California architect Elmer Grey in 1932. The construction of reinforced concrete was faced with Bedford Indiana limestone plates upon which are inscribed excerpts from Lincoln’s speeches. Although the original plan called for 75 foot long patio wings to extend from each side of the Shrine, complete with fountains, benches, and additional inscriptions, it was not until 1937 that these areas were added. The additions were crafted from the same material used in the octagon with the Indiana limestone selected to match before leaving the quarry. As originally planned, these patio areas featured additional excerpts from Lincoln’s speeches inscribed into the walls and fountains designed by noted American sculptor Merrill Gage.
After an engaging tour of Redlands, relax at one of our local breweries, Hangar 24. Enjoy a tasting at this one-of-a-kind brewery located at the Redlands Airport in an airplane hangar. Local citrus flavors are a signature infusion for this handcrafted brew along with several other innovative recipes created by master brewer Ben Cook. Spend some quality time getting to know your colleagues and taking in the fresh So Cal air at this local hangout.
The excursion wraps up on campus at the Alumni House with dinner and festivities. Originally the University presidential home, it now houses the Office of Alumni Relations and plays host to numerous weddings and events throughout the year. The award winning Joseph Filippi Winery and Vineyards from located nearby Rancho Cucamonga will have a tasting booth where you can sample a variety of their delicious wines. Following dinner, the evening will continue with a special performance by our very own Acting Provost Kathy Ogren’s group, Buffalo Blues Band.