Plan raises Hanawalt House from the ashes
Posted March 28, 2008
Rhiannon Mim
Renovation on the historic Hanawalt House is scheduled to take place during Phase One of the University of La Verne’s 20-year plan to transform the campus. The house, constructed in 1907, was named after past President W.C. Hanawalt, whose family lived in the home. One of the oldest buildings in La Verne, the Hanawalt House served as a day care center in the 1970s and 1980s. When it burned in 2004 it housed the offices of the Human Resources Department.

The recent construction related to the Building on Excellence Campaign has prompted the University to renovate one of the oldest and once picturesque structures, the Hanawalt House.

Three years ago, the building located at 2058 Second Street caught fire.

The destruction from the fire sent the office of human resources, once housed there, elsewhere and left the University with a boarded up building that has sat – a shadow of its former self – amid the bustling University.

“It’s been in the works since the fire,” David Koch, director of facilities management, said.

“We have taken very careful thought with the renovations.”

Koch said two factors have slowed the renovation process.

Because the building is historic, the renovation must maintain the original structure, from the type of wood used to its outside appearance.

Additionally the renovations must be approved by the city of La Verne.

There will be multiple restorations made to the building including replacing the roof structures, first and second story reconstruction both inside and outside, floor and wall tower restorations and the addition of a new stairway to meet accessibility guidelines.

“The exterior will look exactly like the original but better,” Koch said. “The interior will be remodeled slightly, expanding by about 325 feet.”

The University is considering housing alumni relations and special events offices in the renovated building.

“It’s not 100 percent, but it looks like the direction the University is looking toward,” said Beth Elmore, senior director of alumni relations and special events.

Elmore said that if the Alumni Relations office does cial events.

Elmore says that if the Alumni Relations office does move it will house the upstairs of the building and downstairs will be available for meeting space for various groups on campus and alumni.

The Alumni Relations office is currently housed in University Relations located on Bonita. Moving closer to campus will intoduce students to the services offered by the office.

“I’m so excited; I think it’s going to be a good thing for alumni and students. It will make us connected to the ULV community even more than we are now,” said Noemi Ortega, director of special events.

“I think it will be great because the alumni relations office will be in the heart of campus. It will give students the opportunity to think about their time at the University and their future as alumni,” Elmore said.

Koch says the new Campus Center along with the renovated Hanawalt house will give Second Street a fresh look. It will also be a good contrast of old and new, standing side by side.

The Hanawalt House’s expected completion date is April 2009.

Francine Gobert can be reached at

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