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Senator Portantino Secures Funds to Save Historic Rockhaven


For Immediate Release: June 29, 2021 Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400 Senator Anthony Portantino Secures $8 Million for Rockhaven Sanitarium Sacramento, California – Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) announced today that his budget request to preserve the Rockhaven Sanitarium property in Glendale has been approved. Under the Portantino proposal, the State will allocate the money to the City of Glendale to renovate and preserve the historic Rockhaven property for the public to enjoy and appreciate as a museum. “Converting the Rockhaven grounds into a museum dedicated to the legacy of Agnes Richards, women’s history, and telling the story of compassionate care for women with mental health challenges ensures that we honor the historical significance of this site and the legacy of those who created it,” commented Senator Portantino. “The city owns Rockhaven and the community has long sought an appropriate use for this landmark location and I was pleased to be in a position to help. What’s been missing is the money to do it. That just changed,” he concluded. A one-time appropriation of $8 million from the 2021-2022 State Budget General Fund was approved last night by the legislature for the creation of the Rockhaven Mental Health History Museum. Opening in 1923, for much of 20th Century, Rockhaven Sanitarium operated as a women’s retreat and sensitive institution for women facing mental health challenges. Rockhaven was founded by Agnes Richards, a former nurse who had worked in asylums throughout California and sought to improve living conditions for women with mental health issues. In 2008, the closed property of the former sanitarium was sold to the City of Glendale. No construction or repurposing has been done on the idle property. Since then, Rockhaven has been honored by the California Register of Historic Resources and the National Register of Historic Places. “The Friends of Rockhaven are overjoyed to hear that Senator Anthony Portantino has secured 8 million dollars in California State funding to help the City of Glendale revitalize the Rockhaven Historic District,” stated Joanna Linkchorst, President of the Friends of Rockhaven. “We are very grateful to Senator Portantino for his tireless efforts to get the funding to ensure that this culturally and historically significant site is preserved for future generations. The Friends of Rockhaven look forward to working with the City of Glendale to establish a park and museum at Rockhaven that will allow the public to learn about the history of this amazing site.” ### Regards, Lerna Kayserian Shirinian Communications Director Senator Anthony J. Portantino
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