Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

The Oldest University Building in Southern California

 
 
The Oldest University Building in Southern California Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
1. The Oldest University Building in Southern California Marker
Inscription. Dedicated on September 4, 1880, this original building of the University of Southern California has been continuously in use for educational purposes since its doors were first opened to students on October 6, 1880, by the university's first president, Marion McKinley Bovard. The building was constructed on land donated by Ozro W. Childs, John G. Downey, and Isaias W. Hellman under the guiding hand of Judge Robert M. Widney, the university's leading founder.
 
Erected 1955 by the California State Parks Commission, on the occasion of the University of Southern California's 75th anniversary year. (Marker Number 536.)
 
Location. 34° 1.164′ N, 118° 16.971′ W. Marker is in Los Angeles, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is at the intersection of Childs Way and Pardee Way, on the right when traveling west on Childs Way. Touch for map. It is in front of Widney Hall on the campus of the University of Southern California. Marker is at or near this postal address: 635 Childs Way, Los Angeles CA 90007, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Trojan for Life (here, next to this marker); John C. Argue Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Petrified Tree from the Arizona Forest
The Oldest University Building in Southern California Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
2. The Oldest University Building in Southern California Marker
It is the center tablet on the concrete pedestal.
(within shouting distance of this marker); USC Urban Legends (within shouting distance of this marker); University of Southern California (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Teaching and Learning (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gwynn Wilson Student Union (approx. 0.2 miles away); Student Media (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Angeles.
 
Additional comments.
1. Accompanying Tablets (see photo No. 2)
The tablet on the upper left reads,Widney Hall • Oldest university structure in Southern California continually used since 1880 for educational purposes. Declared Historic Cultural Monument No. 70 by the Cultural Heritage Board, Cultural Affairs Department, City of Los Angeles.”

The tablet on the lower left reads, Alumni House. First university of Southern California building. Home for all who have attended USC. Dedicated this 6th day of October, 1977. The General Alumni Association extends enduring gratitude to all alumni who participated in
Widney Hall Alumni Center image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
3. Widney Hall Alumni Center
this project. Herbert G. Klein, JOUR, ’40, President, General Alumni Association 1975-1976 (1st year of restoration) • Eugene C. Clarke, LAS ’32, President, General Alumni Association 1976-1977 (2nd year of restoration) • Joseph C. Cannell, BUS. ’30, Chairman, Remodeling Committee (President, General Alumni Association, 1971-1972) • Gin Wong, ARCH ’50, Architect • J. Robert Fluor, BUS. ’46, Chairman, USC Board of Trustees • John R. Hubbard, President, USC • Thomas P. Nickell, Jr., BUS. ’40, University Affairs • H. Dale Hilton, ENGR, ’36, Associate Vice President, University Affairs Executive Director, General Alumni Association. Restoration completed 1976 — the 96th year of the University — the 200th year of the nation.

The tablet on the right reads, Widney Alumni House, University of Southern California. Erected 1880. Marion M. Bovard, President of the University • Robert M. Widney, President of the Board • Ezra F. Kysor & Octavis Morgan, Architects.”
    — Submitted January 6, 2019.

 
Categories. ArchitectureEducationNotable Buildings
 
Judge Robert Maclay Widney, the Founder of USC, 1880 image. Click for full size.
2014 bronze by Christopher Slatoff, photograph by J.J. Prats, November 29, 2018
4. Judge Robert Maclay Widney, the Founder of USC, 1880
“In my wildest dreams, I never conceived anything as wonderful as this university.”
Arnold Eddy, Engr. ’24 image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
5. Arnold Eddy, Engr. ’24
“The Board of Governors expresses great appreciation to Arnold Eddy, Engr. ’24 Emeritus Executive Director, General Alumni Association, for the profound devotion, support and loyalty he bestows upon his university and for the noble Trojan spirit he embodies and displays so well to the honor of USC.”
Robert Dean Fisher image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
6. Robert Dean Fisher
“In honor of Robert Dean Fisher, Financial Vice President, 1946-1958, who with the keenest sense of history and equal prescience first saw the enduring value of preserving Widney Hall for all generations and who led in achieving this worthy objective.”
Raymond C. Sparling image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
7. Raymond C. Sparling
“1912-1972. In memory of Raymond C. Sparking, Engr. ’33, Varsity Football ’31, ’32, ’33 ‘The Sparling Reverse’. Member, USC Board of Trustees; President, General Alumni Association; Distinguished businessman.”
The School Bell Affair image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
8. The School Bell Affair
1889 – 1939. On June 8, 1889 the Alpha Upsilon chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity was founded at the University of Southern California. It was the first national fraternity to be chartered in Southern California.

On Halloween night, 1890, the university's school bell mysteriously disappeared from the campus. • In commemoration of its 100th anniversary, and in appreciation of a century of leadership by the university, the Alpha Upsilon now returns the school bell to the original owner.

Presented by the Trojan Sig Foundation, June 8, 1989. Richard C. Boonn ’54, President; Manual L Beal ’46; Arne B. Lindgren, ’54; Harold C. Ramser, Sr. '29; John A. Baran ’47; Thomas A. Techentin ’58; Kraig A. Westra ’65; Bruce W. Stuart ’60, Centennial Chairman.”
Various tablets affixed to wall image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
9. Various tablets affixed to wall
The tablets shown in photos 5, 6, and 7 are to the right of the tree trunk. The tablet in photo 8 is to the left of the lamppost.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 6, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 29, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 68 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 29, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on January 6, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending Amazon.com advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.