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Event marks Hanawalt House’s re-opening

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University of La Verne President Stephen Morgan enjoys a moment with J. Clair Hanawalt at the re-opening ceremony for the Hanawalt House on Wednesday. The House was originally built in 1908 and served as the home of W.C. Hanawalt, the fifth president of Lordsburg College. Hanawalt House will serve as a meeting area as well as the offices for alumni relations and special events. / photo by Steven Bier

University of La Verne President Stephen Morgan enjoys a moment with J. Clair Hanawalt at the re-opening ceremony for the Hanawalt House on Wednesday. The House was originally built in 1908 and served as the home of W.C. Hanawalt, the fifth president of Lordsburg College. Hanawalt House will serve as a meeting area as well as the offices for alumni relations and special events. / photo by Steven Bier

Angie Marcos
Staff Writer

The Hanawalt House was re-opened Wednesday in a ceremony in front of University of La Verne students, faculty, staff and alumni, La Verne residents, Mayor Don Kendrick and three members of the city council. The second floor of the House, which was initially built more than 100 years ago, will now be the site of the Alumni Relations and Special Events offices. The ground floor of the House will be available to the University for events.

“The Alumni Relations Office seemed like a good fit,” Trish Ciccoianni, Manager of Annual Giving, said. “It’s not exclusively for alumni though.”

The House will also be open to the entire community, Ciccoianni said.

A fire in December 2004 caused major damage to the house located on Second Street on the University’s campus.

The Hanawalt House was built by W. C. Hanawalt, the fifth president of Lordsburg College, and sold to the University by his wife Pearl in 1973.

In the past the House was used as a child care center, the counseling center and human resources.

“It was a team project. It was a real team effort,” Chip West, Executive Director Campus Center and Capital Planning, said. “I’m really excited for everyone to see it.”

Stephen Morgan, the University president, spoke at the re-opening event. He told of his time at the University as an undergraduate seeing Pearl Hanawalt tending to the garden of the Hanawalt House.

“I am delighted to have it restored,” LeAnn Killam, a member of the Alumni Governing Board and a ULV graduate, said. Killam donated some of the furnishings that are House.

Killam, who owns a Victorian-style home in La Verne, which she recently restored, said that it is important to the city to preserve older things.

“I think that it is a real addition to the University,” Killam said of the Hanawalt House.

“The University, the city, the family, and the community were so supportive,” Charles Bentley, the University’s spokesman, said. “I think that the legacy of this house is the community.”

The event attracted many members of the Hanawalt family. J. Clair Hanawalt, the nephew of W. C. Hanawalt and a ULV graduate, cut the ceremonial ribbon in place for the grand opening.

“My father and his brother made the blocks for this house,” Hanawalt said. “There are some homes in San Dimas made from these blocks.”

A small piece of original wood flooring from the Lordsburg Hotel is located in the entrance of the Hanawalt House. The historical flooring was donated by Kendrick and his wife.

“We spent a lot of time on the restoration. We’ve been working on it for over a year,” West said. “It’s fun to work on it with the community.”

“There was a lot of research that went into the renovation,” Bentley said.

There had to be discussions with the University’s insurance company about the price of restoration and finding the right person that would be able to properly restore the House, he said.

The restoration of the building proves that history is important to the city of La Verne, Bentley said.

“The House wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all of that history,” Killam said.

Adding that it is refreshing to see the Hanawalt House, an establishment of the past, next to the Campus Center, an establishment of the future, Killam said, “It’s really neat to have them here side by side.”

Angie Marcos can be reached at angie.marcos@laverne.edu.

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