Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Wardman House (President's House)

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Institution Name: Whittier College
Original/Historic Place Name: Private home of Aubrey G. and Bonnie Bell Wardman
Location on Campus: off campus at 1025 Summit Dr., Whittier
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1927original construction Webber, Stanton & Spalding
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: reinforced concrete
Roof: red tile
ca. 1927-1970private residence (of Aubrey and Bonnie Wardman)
ca. 1970-present (2007)president's house

Significance: architecture, culture, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The Wardman House, the home of Whittier College's president, dates from 1927. A superb example of a Mediterranean-style mansion with Spanish emphasis, it was designed by the noted Los Angeles architectural firm of that period, Webber, Staunton, and Spaulding. In addition to the Wardman house, the firm also designed the Gardner Building (La Casa Primera) at Malaga Cove in the Palos Verdes Estates development, the famed "Greenacres" in Beverly Hills, and the Casino in Avalon on Catalina Island. Greenacres, the former Harold Lloyd Estate at 1040 Angelo Drive, is L.A. Historic Cultural Monument 279.

The hacienda styling of the Wardman home, many details of which can be found in the firm's other structures as well, includes white stucco exterior walls, a large, walled and gated stone courtyard at the entrance, and lush landscaping. The Wardman House is sited magnificently upon a hilltop three-acre site overlooking the Los Angeles basin, in a quiet residential neighborhood on hills above and just a short distance away from the college.

For more than forty years, the Wardman House was the palatial private home of millionaire Aubrey Wardman and his wife, Bonnie. Aubrey Wardman was a southern California pioneer of the telephone and oil industries who was also active in California real estate development. The Wardmans gave the house to Whittier College in the 1970s. Since then, it has served as the official residence of three college presidents, and is the frequent location of dinners and receptions for the board of trustees, students, faculty, and alumni.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Arnold, Benjamin F. History of Whittier. Whittier, CA: Western Print Corporation, 1933.

Carter, Coila. "History of Whittier." B. A. thesis, Whittier College, 1908.

Cooper, Charles W. Whittier: Independent College in California. Los Angeles, CA: Ward Ritchie Press, 1967.

Cooper, Charles W. The A. Wardman Story. Whittier, CA: Whittier College, 1961.

Elliott, Charles, Jr. Whittier College: The First Century on the Poet Campus, a Pictorial Remembrance. Redondo Beach, CA: Legends Press, 1986.

Feeler, William Henry. History of Whittier College. M. A. thesis, University of Southern California, 1919.

Harris, Herbert Eugene. The Quaker and the West: The First Sixty Years of Whittier College. [s.l.:] Whittier College, 1948.

Pearce, Phyllis M., Claire G. Radford, and Mary Ann Rummel. Founders and Friends. Whittier, CA: Rio Hondo College Community Services, 1977.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Facilities Management Office

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