Saint John’s Health Center celebrated the completion of its new entrance, Mullin Plaza and Mullin Gardens, and its benefactors Peter and Merle Mullin with a garden party in the new space on Sunday.
“It’s not ‘fun’ to go to a hospital (either as a patient or visitors),” Peter Mullin explained at the event. “So this new entrance plaza and garden is intended to provide some calm and beauty and a supportive and healing environment for all…made for reflections…the healing starts when you pull in here.”
To celebrate the support of the Mullins, the event included a parade of classic cars from the collections of Saint John’s trustees and friends Peter Mullin, Rick Caruso, Bruce Meyer, and Jack Nethercutt.
There was also a ribbon cutting by the Mullins and speeches by Chair of the Saint John’s Foundation Board of Trustees Donna Tuttle, Chair Elect of the Saint John’s Foundation Board of Trustees John M. Robertson, MD, and Peter Mullin, as well as an invocation by Fr. Patrick Cahalan, Chancellor of Loyola Marymount University.
Made possible with a $15-million gift from the Mullins, the new entrance includes layers of Chinese elms, Canary Island pines, ginkgo trees and peppermint willows to lure gazes skyward.
Bioswales, native vegetation that absorb storm-water runoff, are utilized in the front Asian-style gravel garden to improve water quality, and tall Mexican feather grass is featured along with other drought-tolerant plants.
Additionally there is a hedge maze along the front of the building that leads into the Gloria and Jimmy Steward Rose Garden, a gift from the Stewart Foundation and the Stewarts’ children.
Nearby the garden is a beautiful pink magnolia tree to honor the extraordinary generosity of Paula Kent Meehan who wanted to share this “living legacy” with all that enter the hospital.
Below the circle drive, in the plaza, is a 58-foot water feature made from Texas Shellstone. With the help of landscape designer Art Luna, Peter and Merle Mullin were able to create a space for generations to come to enjoy and find solace in.
“[The Mullins’] passion for creating beauty and preserving historical designs for future generations has inspired them to create these important gardens and plaza as an integral part of Saint John’s healing process,” Tuttle said at the event. “These gardens provide a public space for serenity and peace; a maze in which to wander when in need of solitude; a reflection pond to help celebrate a new life.
Together, the wonderful Mullin Plaza and Gardens are today and will remain a place to give thanks to God, doctors, nurses and employees who work night and day to save and improve our lives.”
Peter Mullin serves on the Board of the Saint John’s Foundation and is Chairman of the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.
Mullin is also co-founder and Chairman of the Board of M Financial Holdings Incorporated and Chairman of Mullin| Barens| Sanford Financial, an independent executive benefits and solutions provider and member of M Financial Group.
Additionally, he is Chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum and serves on the Board of the Art Center College of Design, Guggenheim Foundation Advisory Board and Occidental College and is President of the American Bugatti Club.
Merle Mullin is Director of the Mullin Automotive Museum. Merle also holds several board positions including the National Trust of Italy (FAI), dedicated to preserving and restoring gardens, palazzi and works of art in Italy; the Blue Ribbon of the Music Center of Los Angeles; Diadames, an assistance charity serving gifted children in Los Angeles; and the Board of Visitors, UC Davis School of Viticulture and Enology. Merle is also a Fellow of the Huntington Gardens and Library.
“We’re better because of trustees like Peter Mullin and his wife, Merle, who have always been there to serve,” Dr. Robertson said during his speech. “You will always and forever have a special place in the hearts of all who make up the Saint John’s Community.”