The Hart museum will remain closed until further notice. The County approved a motion to begin negotiations to transfer ownership of William S. Hart Park and Museum to the City of Santa Clarita. Learn more.

The latest news about the Hart

The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) are a public-private partnership between the non-profit Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Foundation and the County of Los Angeles. On July 12, 2022, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to begin negotiations with the City of Santa Clarita in order to transfer ownership of William S. Hart Park and the William S. Hart Museum to the City. The Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County have managed the Museum and collection since the 1960s on behalf of L.A. County and, pending successful negotiations approved by the Board of Supervisors and other required governmental agencies’ approval of the transfer, will work closely with L.A. County and the City of Santa Clarita to develop plans for a smooth transition. The Hart Museum remains closed at this time. 

William S. Hart Museum Transition

On June 13, 2023, the City of Santa Clarita reviewed the feasibility analysis of assuming ownership and operations of William S. Hart Regional Park from the County of Los Angeles and directed staff to move forward in pursuing the transfer of ownership.

The Hart Museum park and mansion were gifted to the County by William S. Hart in 1948. The Los Angeles Museum of History and Science operated the Hart Museum from 1958–1962. The Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation operated the Hart Museum until 1987 when the management of the museum came back to the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County. 

While NHMLAC cannot say when the transfer process of the Hart Museum will be finalized, we wanted to provide an updated Q&A for curious guests and visitors.

Any media inquiries should be referred to the NHMLAC Communications Department at press@nhm.org.

Why did the Hart Museum not reopen after the pandemic?

The closure, undertaken to meet County and State COVID safety guidelines, provided an opportunity to reassess the visitor experience. Los Angeles County has asked NHMLAC to not reopen the Hart Museum until a decision is reached.

When will the Hart Museum reopen?

The Hart Museum may be able to reopen once the transfer has been completed and the collections’ new stewards are in place.

How long will the transfer take?

The timing of the transfer has not yet been determined. The City of Santa Clarita will work with Los Angeles County representatives on next steps.

Why can't the Hart Museum reopen now?

While Los Angeles County is maintaining the Hart Museum during the transfer process, the Museum is not appropriately staffed for visitors during this process.

Why is the Hart Museum being transferred from Los Angeles County to the City of Santa Clarita?

The City of Santa Clarita will be able to operate the Hart Museum in a much more efficient and effective manner due to the museum’s location and history. NHMLAC and Los Angeles County have been honored to own, steward and maintain the Hart Museum over the years and look forward to its continued success and improvements under the direction of its new owners.

William S. Hart bequeathed the site to Los Angeles County. Has the Hart family approved the proposed transfer?

NHMLAC has not been in touch with the Hart Family.

Who can I talk to if I have questions or concerns about the transfer?

For any questions, please contact Gina Ender at L.A. County 5th District at 213.974.5555 or Kenneth W. Striplin, City Manager for the City of Santa Clarita, at 661.259.2489.