Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Pederson Ranch House and Water Tower

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Institution Name: California Lutheran University
Original/Historic Place Name: Pederson Ranch House and Water Tower
Location on Campus: northwest corner of campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1913original construction Norwegian immigrants
1960installation of plumbing system Unknown
1986relocation; renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: wood (exterior); plaster (interior)
Roof: asphalt shingle
1913-1960other (water tower)
1913-1960private residence (Pederson Family)
1961president's house
1962-1963other (Dean's office)
1962-present (2007)faculty offices (music)
1963-present (2007)academic department building (music)

Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The Pederson Ranch house, built in 1913, is a Ventura County and Thousand Oaks Historical Landmark. This house originally was built for the Lars and Karn Pederson family, Norwegian immigrants who were part of a group in 1890 that settled in the Conejo Valley. The nearby water tower, built at the same time, provided plumbing for the residence.

When the ranch property in 1967 was transferred to the ownership of California Lutheran University, the institution's first president, Dr. Orville Dahl, and his family lived in the home. From 1962-63, it functioned as an office for the academic dean. In late 1963, it was was utilized for music offices.

Originally located on the central west side of campus, the house was moved in 1986 to its present location at the northwest corner of Faculty and Regent Avenues. At this time, it also was renovated. The ranch house calls upon the traditions of both vernacular structures and also Craftsman-style buildings of the period, with its forthright front porch, simple bracketed eaves, and window fenestration. The interior layout includes a parlor, dining room, kitchen and several bedrooms on the ground floor. The water tower remained operational until 1960, when a plumbing system was installed in the house and the use of the water tower for its original purpose was no longer needed.

I. Bibliographic sources:
II. Location of other data:

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