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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

A Changing Campus

 

ó USC — University of Southern California ó

 
A Changing Campus Interpretive Panel image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
1. A Changing Campus Interpretive Panel
Inscription.  For Old College, USCís second-oldest building, September 20, 1948 marked the beginning of the end. Exactly 64 years to the day alter its cornerstone was laid, USC President Fred Fagg announced that the structure had outlived its usefulness. Before the year was out, the sprawling, Victorian edifice was reduced to rubble, and the campus was poised to enter the modern era.

When Old College was built, the entire university consisted of a single modest, two-story wood-framed building—todayís Widney Alumni House—which sat on a site the size of two city blocks. The university grew so rapidly, however, that three years after its founding, the Board of Trustees authorized construction of another building. Begun in 1884 and dedicated
A Changing Campus Interpretive Panel image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
2. A Changing Campus Interpretive Panel
in 1887, this new building was conceived as the permanent centerpiece of the campus.

Old College was the last major building erected on the campus until 1921, but as early as 1911, there were plans to expand facilities. In preparation, USC purchased a strip of land along University Avenue (todayís Trousdale Parkway) in 1916. After delays related to funding and World War I, ground was broken for the Bovard Administration Building in 1919, the first structure of USCís much-anticipated “New Campus.” Guiding the transition between old and new was architect John Parkinson, who developed a master plan for a modern campus with a historical countenance, which he interpreted in the Romanesque style.

Although the groundwork for the new buildings was laid during the tenure of President George Finley Bovard, it was his successor, Rufus B. von KleinSmid, who brought it to fruition. During the first ten years of his administration, USC built nine new permanent
Old College Building image. Click for full size.
By Unknown Photographer, circa 1887
3. Old College Building
Taper Hall, where this interpretative panel is located, is on the site of Old College, whose official name was College of Liberal Arts Building.
structures, including the Student Union, Mudd Hall, the Physical Education Building and Doheny Memorial Library. In all, Von KleinSmid spearheaded the construction of 19 new buildings over 25 years.

Fred Fagg succeeded Von KleinSmid as president in 1946, and with a surging enrollment fueled by returning GIís, he too was faced with the challenge of providing USC with adequate facilities. Founders Hall (remodeled as Taper Hall of Humanities), which replaced Old College, was the first classroom building constructed in a decade. Fagg also strived to make the campus more coherent and hospitable. By 1951, USC had acquired all the land along University Avenue. In 1953, the city of Los Angeles granted the university permission to close the street to traffic.

In 1958, Norman Topping became USCís seventh president. At his inauguration, he announced that new facilities were again a top priority, this time specifically to support efforts to elevate USCís academic standing.
An Expanded Old College Building image. Click for full size.
J.J. Prats Postcard Collection, circa 1915
4. An Expanded Old College Building
C.T. Photochron postcard Published by Western Publishing and Novelty Co., Los Angeles Cal. Made in U.S.A. (Chicago)
Three years later, he announced the most ambitious capital campaign in university history, the Master Plan for Enterprise and Excellence in Education, with half the $106 million goal designated for buildings. Architect William L. Pereira developed a new master plan, which increased campus size from 95 to 156 acres and encompassed such new buildings as the Andrus Gerontology Center, Von KleinSmid Center, Seaver Science Center, Hoffman Hall and Loker Hydrocarbon Institute. Ninety nine new buildings were built between 1961 and 1979.

Future capital campaigns changed USCís landscape further, but the most coordinated effort accompanied preparations for the 1984 Olympics. University Avenue and Childs Way were transformed into pedestrian malls—changes that had been part of Pereiraís master plan and that helped the campus shed its past as a scattered campus in a city grid. Plazas and fountains were added; kiosks and benches were built; lampposts were installed, and
Widney Hall Alumni Center image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
5. Widney Hall Alumni Center
trees planted.

Today, just as USC continues to revise its curriculum and services to remain responsive to the needs of its community, so it continues to rework the campus itself. Like the learning it supports, the campus is an environment where the only constant is change, destined to remain a work in progress.
 
Erected 1998 by USC History Project, USC Alumni Association. Sponsored by USC Class of 1995.
 
Location. 34° 1.316′ N, 118° 17.064′ W. Marker is in Los Angeles, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is on Trousdale Parkway north of Hellman Way, on the left when traveling north. It is at Taper Hall. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Los Angeles CA 90089, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. An International University (within shouting distance of this marker); The Trojan Column (within shouting distance of this marker); The Founding of USC
1928 Student Union Building image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, November 29, 2018
6. 1928 Student Union Building
(within shouting distance of this marker); Foundersí Fountain (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ceasar Estrada Chavez (about 300 feet away); First Meeting of the USC Board of Trustees (about 300 feet away); Student Musical Traditions (about 300 feet away); Campus Life (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Los Angeles.
 
More about this marker. This panel shows a timeline from 1870 to 2000 marking when USC was founded, Old College construction was begun, Bovard Administration Building is dedicated, implementation of Parkinson master plan begun, Doheny Memorial Library opens, Old College was demolished, University Avenue is closed; President Norman Topping announced the Master Plan for Enterprise and Excellence in Eduction, with half the funds slated for construction, USC underwent a facelift for the Olympic Games, and when USC implemented plan to build a major new entrance.

The interpretive panel has a number of illustrations (clockwise from top left) beginning with a postcard view of Old Main; photographs of “Mudd Hall under construction,” “a crane puts the finishing touch on the Von KleinSmid Center;” “Doheny Library just after completion;” and a photograph of Widney Hall bering rolled down a street captioned, “Widney Alumni House, USCís first building, has been relocated several times.”
 
Also see . . .
1. University of Southern California - Non-Modern Buildings. “The Mudd Memorial Hall of Philosophy (1929) is perhaps the most elegant of the many Romanesque Revival-style buildings on campus, and won a gold medal for design from the Los Angeles Art Association in 1931. It was designed by Ralph Carlin Flewelling, whose father was a longtime professor of philosophy
Taper Hall image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 22, 2019
7. Taper Hall
at USC, and its design recalls a medieval monastery, with courtyard cloister, tower, and elaborate carvings in the Romanesque tradition. The interior of Mudd Hall features wood, colorful tile, terra cotta, and painted plaster ceilings. The second-floor Hoose Library of Philosophy occupies a dramatic double-height room.” (Submitted on February 21, 2019.) 

2. Early Views of USC. Mudd Hall: “The famous clock tower stands 146 feet above the junction of the North and West wings, equipped with chimes manufactured by Deagan. Ornate sculptures, reliefs, and mosaics adorn the building. The Argonaut's Hall, in which many philosophy seminars and lectures take place, is also ornately decorated and depicts Jason's search for the golden fleece.” (Submitted on February 21, 2019.) 
 
Categories. ArchitectureEducation
 
Mudd Hall image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 22, 2019
8. Mudd Hall
Doheny Library image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 22, 2019
9. Doheny Library
Physical Education Building image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, March 22, 2019
10. Physical Education Building
Bovard Administration Building image. Click for full size.
11. Bovard Administration Building
Portrait from nearby marker ĎA Gathering Placeí.
 

More. Search the internet for A Changing Campus.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 2, 2019. This page originally submitted on February 21, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 134 times since then. Last updated on February 21, 2019, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 21, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   4. submitted on February 28, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   5. submitted on November 29, 2018, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   6. submitted on January 10, 2019, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   7, 8, 9. submitted on March 22, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   10, 11. submitted on April 1, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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