Catalina Island News

Museumís New Building to Honor Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner

Catalina Island Museum

The Catalina Island Museum announced recently that its Board of Trustees had voted unanimously to name its future building after the late Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner.

Known simply as “Blanny” to her family and many friends in the Avalon community, Schreiner was a member of the Catalina Island Board of Trustees before her death in December of 2010. She was the granddaughter of William Wrigley, Jr. and the daughter of Philip K. Wrigley, a leading member of the museum and greatly responsible for its founding in 1953.

Steve Schreiner, who is the son of Ms. Schreiner and the current Chair of the museum’s Capital Campaign stated: “Mom, who rarely if ever sought attention for herself, would be truly honored to have the new Catalina Island Museum building named after her. Catalina Island was her favorite place on the planet, and she remained involved in the museum as a board member until her passing.”

“Blanny was a steadfast supporter of the Catalina Island Museum,” Dr. Michael De Marsche, Executive Director of the museum recently stated. “She possessed an indomitable spirit. Her generosity extended over a period of many years, often providing critical support that sustained museum operations. Her dream was the construction of a building that could provide a permanent home to the museum and be sustainable. We’re reaching those goals quickly, and it would have been impossible without Blanny. Naming the building after her not only honors her memory but will always remind us of the enormous debt we owe this remarkable woman.”

The museum has rented its present facility in the Avalon Casino since it’s founding, and, according to De Marsche, plans for the museum’s first permanent home are progressing steadily.

“Architectural plans for the new building have been approved by the city,” stated De Marsche. “We are about to solicit construction bids during the coming weeks. It’s quite possible that construction on the building will begin before this summer.”

Designed by the architectural firm of Marengo Morton Architects of La Jolla, CA, the construction of the Ada Blanche Wrigley Schreiner Building will expand the present museum’s space by over 8,000 square feet. It is the most significant building project on Santa Catalina since William Wrigley, Jr. built the Avalon Casino in 1929. Exhibition space will more than double with spaces dedicated to plein air painting, Catalina Island history and special exhibitions traveling to the museum from around the world. Amenities in the new building will include a spacious entrance lobby and visitor center, a digital theater, an atrium and sculpture garden, an expansive museum store, rooftop gardens, and a vault area dedicated to staff offices, storage and research. The museum is currently engaged in the quiet phase of a capital campaign that has raised over $6 million of the $9 million needed to construct the museum’s new building.

The Catalina Island Museum is Avalon’s sole institution devoted to art, culture and the rich history of Santa Catalina Island. It is located on the ground floor of Avalon’s historic Casino, and is open 7 days a week, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, the museum may be reached by phone at 310-510-2414 or at its website.