University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Los Angeles information

Los Angeles , USA
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Founded in 1919, the alma mater of Jim Morrison, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Jackie Robinson ranks among the nation’s top universities. The campus is vast: walking briskly from one end to the other takes at least 30 minutes; free tours (reservations required) are offered at 10:30am and 1:30pm.

The grounds make for a lovely saunter along manicured, sycamore-shaded lawns, through profuse gardens and past replicas of Italian renaissance churches on historic Royce Quad. One of them, the Powell Library , harbors the UCLA Film and TV Archive , the country’s second-largest after the Library of Congress, with more than 220,000 movies and TV shows. It’s only open to researchers, but regular screenings take place at the state-of-the-art Billy Wilder Theater in the Hammer Museum.

Garden retreats include the Murphy Sculpture Garden northeast of Royce Quad, with more than 70 stunning works by Rodin, Moore, Calder and other American and European artists set amid jacaranda and coral trees. We're partial to the giant, torqued ellipse by Richard Serra in the plaza of the Broad Art Center . Designed by Richard Meier, it houses the UCLA visual-arts programs and an MFA student gallery.

In the campus’ southeastern corner, the Mildred E Mathias Botanical Garden has more than 5000 native and exotic plants and flowers. Enter on Tiverton Ave. On winter weekdays gates close an hour earlier. It’s only open by reservation for self-guided, 50-minute tours.