Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Lou Henry Hoover Memorial Hall

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Institution Name: Whittier College
Original/Historic Place Name: Lou Henry Hoover Memorial Hall
Location on Campus: east side of Painter Ave., one-half block south of Philadelphia St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1948original construction Harrison, William H.
1958addition of south wing Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: reinforced concrete
Roof: red tile
ca. 1948-present (2007)classrooms
ca. 1948-present (2007)faculty offices (currently for departments of business, English, and history)
ca. 2004-present (2007)auditorium (Latrup-Ball Cinema, equipped with instructional multimedia equipment)

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

The Lou Henry Hoover Classroom Building, opened in 1948, bears the name of the wife of U.S. President Herbert Hoover. During the late 1880s she attended Whittier Academy, the predecessor of Whittier College. On Aug. 17, 1928 she received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the college during her husband's successful national campaign for the presidency. Walter F. Dexter, then president of Whittier College, was the author of Herbert Hoover's 1932 campaign biography. Mrs. Hoover soon joined the Board of Trustees, on which she served until her death in 1944. Her family contributed to the fund to build this facility in her memory.

This key teaching facility for the campus today comprises five classrooms, two smaller seminar rooms, faculty offices, and an auditorium, the Lautrup-Ball Cinema, equipped with a wide variety of up-to-date instructional multimedia equipment, including an audio system, an LCD projector with laptop access, and a VHS/DVD player.

The building may have been the first on the Whittier College campus designed by local architect William H. Harrison, who subsequently designed many of the structures built in the region during the 1950s and 1960s, including Whittier City Hall.

The building's eclectic modern style, characteristic of the post-World War II period, features a red tile roof and elements that harmonize with other campus buildings in the Mediterranean style. A south wing was added in 1958, and the partial basement in that wing the only portion of the structure that is below grade has had issues with flooding during seasonal rain showers. The basement and second floor of this building do not provide access to handicapped persons. The building is also currently in need of paint.

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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