Resource Description

Resource Summary

Names
Pepperdine College (Primary)
Pepperdine College (Alternative)
Resource Types
District
Important Dates
No dates recorded
Keywords (Subjects)
1930s
geodesic dome
Faith Dome
John M. Cooper
H.L. Gogerty
Crenshaw Christian Center
Streamline Moderne
George Pepperdine
Malibu

Location Information

Addresses
Location Description
No descriptions recorded
Administrative Areas
South Los Angeles Community Plan Area (Community Plan Area)
Los Angeles City Council District 8 (Council District)
EMPOWERMENT CONGRESS SOUTHWEST AREA NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (Neighborhood Council)
VERMONT KNOLLS NEIGHBORHOOD (Neighborhood)

Classification

Classification
No classifications recorded
Related Features
No features recorded

Resource Descriptions

General Description
The Pepperdine College Historic District is an enclosed campus with Streamline Moderne style buildings oriented around a central, landscaped quadrangle. The main entrance of the campus is on Vermont Avenue between Florence and Manchester Avenues. The western boundary of the historic campus was Budlong Avenue. The southern boundary of the district is 79th Street. The front facades of a few buildings face Vermont, but the overall effect of the campus' site planning was to create an enclosed campus within the street grid of South Los Angeles. There are approximately seven buildings within the district; many are not visible from the public right-of-way and therefore only four were documented. The campus was originally 35 acres. The first four campus buildings were two dormitories, a library, and an administration building. John M. Cooper designed these building the Streamline Moderne style in 1937. Later buildings included an auditorium, gymnasium, and dormitories designed by H.L. Gogerty, an architect who specialized in educational buildings. The buildings are painted a uniform shade of white and are between two and three stories high. These buildings originally served academic, administrative, and dormitory functions for students and faculty of the co-ed residential college. Though it is not publicly accessible, the original landscaping plan of the college's interior quadrangle appears to be intact, with walking paths forming a clover-leaf pattern.

Summary of Significance
The Pepperdine College Campus contains several buildings that are exemplary of the Streamline Moderne style and is the historic location of a liberal arts and business administration college campus founded in 1937 by philanthropist and Los Angeles businessman George Pepperdine. George Pepperdine was the founder of the Western Auto Supply Company and founded the college with the goal of combining Christian values with higher learning. Prominent members of the community, including the mayor of Los Angeles and governor of California, attended the college's opening ceremonies in September 1937. The first buildings on campus were constructed in a short period prior to the college's opening in September 1937. John M. Cooper was the architect of the first four buildings. Cooper was the architect of several theaters and office buildings around Los Angeles. Later buildings on the campus were designed by H.L. Gogerty, an architect known for his work on Susan M. Dorsey High School and over 30 WPA schools in the Los Angeles area. Pepperdine College contains one of the largest concentrations of high-style, institutional Streamline Moderne buildings in Los Angeles; despite containing work by two architects, the buildings are congruous and display a common visual vocabulary. The campus grew to include approximately seven buildings by 1972. The period of significance is 1937 to 1972, reflecting the development of the campus for the college. Pepperdine College relocated its student body to a new campus in Malibu in 1972. The school sold the former campus at Vermont in 1981 to a church organization that converted the campus into the Crenshaw Christian Center and constructed the Faith Dome, a geodesic dome auditorium to the west of the existing, historic campus. With this new use, the campus largely remains intact and appears to retain integrity to the period of significance.


External System References

SurveyLA ID: 2dddf976-b349-4fa6-85bf-a5c609f29c0f

Resource Significance

Evaluation Details

Date Evaluated
2012-01-04
Context/Theme
Architecture and Engineering, 1850-1980
L.A. Modernism, 1919-1980
Related Responses to Modernism, 1926-1970
Streamline Moderne, 1934-1945
Institutional
Eligibility Standards
  • Exhibits quality of design through distinctive features
  • Was constructed during the period of significance
  • Retains the essential character defining features of the Streamline Moderne style from the period of significance
  • Windows “punched” into walls, with no surrounds
  • Unadorned wall surfaces, with minimal ornament
  • Metal, often steel casement, windows
  • Horizontal orientation
  • Original garage doors may have been replaced
  • The addition of security features such as screen doors and bars at windows
  • Replacement of some windows and doors may be acceptable if the openings have not been resized and original fenestration patterns have not been disrupted
  • Original use may have changed
  • Location, may have been moved for preservation purposes
  • Speedlines at wall surfaces, such as horizontal moldings and continuous sill courses
  • Setting may have changed (surrounding buildings and land uses)
  • Smooth stucco cladding
  • Flat or nearly flat roofs
  • Rounded corners and curved surfaces, emulating a “windswept” appearance
  • Integrity Aspects
    Feeling
    Association
    Workmanship
    Materials
    Setting
    Design
    Location
    Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance
    California Historic Resources Status Codes (explanation of codes)
    3S
    5S3
    3CS
    Significance Statement
    The former Pepperdine College campus includes several exemplary Streamline Moderne buildings exhibiting high quality of design and distinctive features of the style as well as intact site planning.
    Periods of Significance
    From: 1937-01-01
    To: 1972-12-31

    Date Evaluated
    2012-01-04
    Context/Theme
    Public and Private Institutional Development, 1850-1980
    Education, 1876-1980
    Campus Planning and Design, 1876-1980
    Institutional - Education
    Campus - College
    Eligibility Standards
  • Some materials on individual buildings may have been removed or altered
  • Individual buildings designed in prominent architectural styles of the period, often by noted architects
  • Should retain integrity of Design, Feeling, and Association from its period of significance
  • May include significant landscape features/designs by noted landscape architects
  • Retains most of the essential character-defining features from the period of significance
  • Original campus design/plan remains substantially intact
  • Was constructed during the period of significance
  • Integrity Aspects
    Materials
    Association
    Workmanship
    Setting
    Design
    Location
    Feeling
    Retains sufficient integrity to convey significance
    California Historic Resources Status Codes (explanation of codes)
    5S3
    3CS
    3S
    Significance Statement
    Excellent example of a small, residential college founded by prominent Los Angeles businessman George Pepperdine. Retains significant features of campus planning, including quadrangle site plan.
    Periods of Significance
    From: 1937-01-01
    To: 1972-12-31

    Related Resources

    Related Historic Resources

    Pepperdine University Los Angeles Campus (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    7813 S VERMONT AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    7813 S VERMONT AVE (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)
    Pepperdine University Los Angeles Campus (Building, District Contributor, is a contributor to / has as a contributor)

    Related Historic Districts

    None

    Related Activities

    None

    Related Historic Events

    None

    Related People/Organizations

    Architectural Resources Group (Surveying Firm, was surveyed by / surveyed)

    Related Information Resources

    Images
    Documents
    SurveyLA: South Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey Report (Document/Text, is referred to in / refers to)