In 2008, many students neglected to notice the run down, caged off building that stood alone next to the baseball field and Campus Center. Well, times have changed and the newly restored Hanawalt House that stands in the center of the University of La Verne campus has been restored beautifully.
The project, that held a budget of $1.2 million, was displayed to the public on Wednesday afternoon.
The historic Hanawalt house has always been a symbol of ULV’s beginnings. The house was built in 1905 by W.C. Hanawalt and his family. The Pennsylvania educator came to La Verne, called Lordsburg at the time, with his family to help out Lordsburg College, which was in danger of closing. Hanawalt built the house as a place to stay while he fixed up the college that would in 1977 become the University of La Verne. In 1908, once Lordsburg College was up and running, Hanawalt rented out the house only to return in 1945 after he retired. After his death in 1953, he left the house to his wife.
The Hanawalt house was purchased by the University in 1973. At first the house was used as a day care center, and then it was used for various campus services. Most recently it housed the University’s human resources department until a late 2004 fire that shuttered the house for more than four years.
The house has planted its spirit in many alumni students as speakers displayed during the re-opening ceremony. After more than four years, the Hanawalt house can proudly be used once again as a historic landmark and an office building.
The destruction of the house began early in the morning Dec. 19, 2004, when the La Verne fire department responded to a call that the quiet house on the University campus caught fire. The cause was later revealed to be bad wiring on the first floor. The house was fenced off until March of the following year, when University President, Steve Morgan disclosed that the house would be rebuilt and restored for campus use.
Years passed and plans were drawn out to finish the remolding of the house that represented so much of the University’s history. While some projects on the campus were plagued by budget issues and economic worries, the University finalized construction plans and stayed true to the promise of a spring 2009 opening.
The Hanawalt house was reintroduced with style and class. Consisting of newly built rooms, floors and office materials, the house stood proud at this week’s ceremony. The Hanawalt house, which sits next door to the imposing new campus center, provides a nice contrast to the modern megacenter, and it reflects a bit of the University’s rich history.