Avalon Ventures’ Kevin Kinsella Remakes Private Copley Library in La Jolla
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offices for Avalon’s partners and their staff. Other rooms will be used to exhibit artwork.
Kinsella, who operated Avalon as a solo practitioner for many years, has helped start and finance more than 60 startups, including Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Aurora Biosciences, ReVision Therapeutics, AXYS Pharmaceuticals, Athena Neurosciences, and Landmark Graphics. In the coming weeks, Avalon is expected to close on its ninth venture fund; the firm had raised $161 million at the end of September and is expected to end near the high end of its estimated range, which was $150 million to $200 million. The venture firm estimates that the aggregated market valuation of Avalon’s portfolio companies over the past 28 years exceeds $11 billion.
Helen Copley built the library in the mid-1970s to provide a permanent home for the collection of historical American documents, paintings, and other materials that her husband amassed before he died of a brain tumor in 1973. Although Copley had been collecting material for decades, Kinsella says the conservative newspaper publisher became a serious collector after 1969, when President Richard Nixon appointed him to the U.S. Bicentennial Media Committee that was then planning for the upcoming 1976 celebration.
The building itself was constructed of concrete block and a brick-veneer façade, with a band of embossed copper bordering the roofline. The entrance alcove, which features four murals of Abraham Lincoln, includes bricks from the railway platform in Springfield, IL, where Lincoln took the oath of office after he was elected as the 16th president in 1860.
Many of the 2,000 items in Copley’s collection of Americana pertained to the Revolutionary War, including rare books, manuscripts, letters, pamphlets, and other documents from Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and others. Copley also collected documents from the Civil War and the exploration and settlement of … Next Page »