Hope University Architectural Gems At Risk

Now that's worth keeping...
Now that's worth keeping...

We have it on good authority that when Hope University hightails it from Fullerton to points south, the Exaggerated Modern buildings on their erstwhile campus may be in danger. How come? Because the very entity that built them in the 1960s – CSUF –  is said to be eager to reacquire the property. Based on their recent architectural efforts, a massively overbuilt campus, plus the need to house more students like sardines, the future isn’t too hopeful for the buildings on the Hope U. campus.

Whoa, dudes. Time for class!
Whoa, dudes. Time for class!

The complex of buildings that originally served CSUF as graduate student housing, bookstore, and cinema with their glass walls and soaring roofs have been recognized by many for their architectural value – but never by a governmental entity – and in government land planning thats all that really counts. They have not been recognized by the City, the County, or the State as an historical resource and at present have nothing standing between them and a possible wrecking ball except Fullerton Friends willing to work to preserve them.

Who wants to live in a student warehouse? Nobody.
Who wants to live in a student warehouse? Nobody, that's who.

If we set aside the irony of the CSUF buying back property they once owned, and focus on the aesthetic importance and the sound construction used and the opportunity for creative re-use, we can only conclude that these buildings are worth saving!

Please call State Assemblyman Mike Duvall (714/672-4734) immediately to let him know what you think; e-mail Fullerton City Council members ([email protected]) to let them know that this complex of buildings deserves to be an historic district. Don’t forget to call Chris Norby, County Supervisor at 714/834-3440 to ask for his support.

If you are a member of the heritage group be sure to tell your board that you want these gems of modern architecture preserved – unlike the buildings currently being demolished on Chapman Avenue to make way for the “Jefferson Commons” monstrosity.

WORKING TOGETHER WE CAN SAVE THIS RESOURCE FOR THE PEOPLE OF FULLERTON, ORANGE COUNTY, AND CALIFORNIA!

Wow. Style and substance. Don't see that much anymore...
Wow. Style and substance. Don't see that much anymore...

P.S. We have asked our Arts & Architecture Department to develop an educational post to define just what “Exaggerated Modern” is. We hope (no university) you will stay tuned.

In the way of some more Big Plans?
In the way of some more Big Plans?
Arts & Architecture CSUF Fullerton's Design Standards Sustainable Design

52 thoughts on “Hope University Architectural Gems At Risk

  1. I’m really looking forward to the architecture lesson. As a layman, it’s hard for me to articulate why these buildings should be preserved but even I can tell there is something special about them. Many of us commoners may not appreciate this style much at the moment, but in 20 years they would be sorely missed just like all of the 1920’s buildings that we started preserving in the 80’s.

  2. Are they really taking those buildings down too? Those are the best example of architecture from that period left. The open design, the natural light, the way the use of materials –wood, stone, and glass. The trees have all been over pruned, but they really shouldn’t take this stuff out –given that they’ve pounded the rest into powder.
    I’ve seen the renderings of Jefferson Commons. It looks like every other building built by developers in the last ten years.

  3. If CSUF reacquires this property I have little doubt that the buildings are doomed. Cal State has lots of money, lots of big ideas.

  4. im an alumni of csuf and the hope university bldgs always greeted me as I left csuf’s parking lot. I remember when Hope University was a theatre. I saw Rosemary’s Baby and Romeo and Juliet at the Hope/theatre. Exaggerated modern is better than googie architecture.

  5. I think it is time to move on. The new building at CSUF is really nice. Just because all of the 60s era CUSF buildings are ugly doesn’t mean future ones will be too.

    1. Chad, welcome and thanks for posting a comment.

      Who says the 60’s buildings at CSUF are ugly?

      Why do you think the new building is nice?

      1. Admin, you just read my mind! Chad I’m going to be doing a post soon on that “new building.”

        Maybe I’ll be able to change your mind about the relative value of the 60″s buildings and that new one.

  6. I used to live in Fullerton. And I’m sorry, but the buildings at Hope are ugly. I’m not saying that the new ones are amazing, but that doesn’t mean that the exaggerated are worth preserving.

  7. First thing Cal state Fullerton is not rolling in the dough, remember the state of California in financial deep sh*t.
    Another thing those buildings are quite disgusting, I have worked in the facility for student housing and it is shameful, the plumbing is disgusting, there are half-as* elevators, there is a permanent stench that permeates the entire facility.
    I think it is time to move on raze all nasty buildings and build safer structures which offer more for the students, and I actually feel that in it’s current state the university should be named “Hopeless University”

    1. “First thing Cal state Fullerton is not rolling in the dough, remember the state of California in financial deep sh*t.”

      Rachel, your point about our State in financial sh+t is understood. But why is it in financial sh+t? Because people like you always want new and shiny, which cost far more than maintaining existing.

      After all, we are just “care takers”, that means we as a society should be responsible enough to take care of things, and not throw them away because they smell. Haven’t you ever cleaned something that smelled, or do you just throw it away?

  8. One more thing Rachel, “I actually feel that in it’s current state the university should be named “Hopeless University”” I won’t argue with that statement, but who allowed it to become “hopeless”? We have restored buildings that are well over 100 years old, they are now landmark buildings in Fullerton. The buildings at Hope were all a part of a Master Plan for CSUF, which was called Orange State College. It was designed and planned by published land Planner Edward A. Holden A.I.P. and Architect Walter Beeson & Associates A.I.A.

  9. In regards to my belief in spending to build clean and safe housing I am all for new construction as long as it is private, if not , then raze the entire school and leave it as as a open field.

    In terms of maintaining the current structures, that really sounds good, forget about the asbestos/Mesotheioma which the students and employees are exposed to, the poor state of the structures particularly during a earthquake since they were built at a time when building codes were not as stringent. Sometimes the constant upkeep is more expensive than new construction, it is a mere band aide .

    Sometimes you have to get over that not all buildings are salvageable, some buildings may be old but this does not mean it should be propped up by the taxpayers for the next 200 years. Buildings like people do die.

    It is not a matter of tossing things out because of the “smell” It is a rational and pragmatic decision to demolish structures with a frail foundation and disintegrated plumbing, HVAC, electrical , rotting rebar within foundation and compromising the safety of all.

    On spending money, not me, no way, in fact I feel quite strongly that all sports programs ( rather than sacrificing academics) in all universities, colleges, every public school should be halted to help with the reduction in spending till the economy improves and when unemployment goes down to 6%.
    That all universities should have a complete audit to reduce spending on the upper management level (reduction in forces)
    That all state and government employees should pay more for there insurance premiums.
    I could go on and on, a spender? I am a tight as*!

  10. As far as aesthetics go, they are 50/50. What one person loves another will surely hate. The modern buildings, at least, have character. They may have not been the best of their era, but with not much being left in the area, they are worth preserving. The new buildings look like any other townhouse/dormatory style that is all over the nation. I live in Savannah, Ga and there are similar buildings going up here through SCAD and there are tons of generic **** in Atlanta as well. Since they are over 50 years old, you can petition to make them deemed “Historic Structures” and they can be saved.

  11. My grandfather was the architect who designed these buildings and I remember touring them as a very young child. It would be tragic to lose such a fine example of post modern era architecture from the ’60’s.

  12. I hope that CSU Fullerton demolishes all of the “exagerated modern” buildings if it acquires the Hope Campus. It seems very convenient that these ignored buildings have become architecturally significant only after nearby residents become concerned about further expansion.

    Before the issue of expansion nobody gave a hoot about these buildings as they withered and fell into decay. Now people on this web site are scrambling to find an architect that can “define” the significance of “exaggerated modern.”

    It is true that the value of these buildings does not remotely come close to the necessary maintenance costs to keep them habitable. The life expectancy of these building is over! They are completely incompatible with the Cal State Fullerton Campus and the City of Fullerton in general. In other words they are an eye sore!

    I think Cal State Fullerton is a blessing for the City of Fullerton. The City and the University should work together to build up Cal State Fullerton into a big & beautiful university which will economically, socially, and culturally complement Fullerton.

    I love Fullerton and CSU Fullerton so I hope people can maintain a long term vision for their growth and development. Not many cities are lucky enough to have a university in their town!

  13. David your love for CSUF and Fullerton is quite touching and duly noted, but is seemingly irrelevant to the rest of your post which I will address. Your statements and some questions:

    “Before the issue of expansion nobody gave a hoot about these buildings as they withered and fell into decay.”

    Who says nobody cared? You are wrong there. I cared, and so did many others I know. How do buildings “wither” and who says they have fallen into decay? Certainly not Hope University who is still using them. The office tower on Chapman took a hell of a long time to demolish for something in a state of decay.

    “It is true that the value of these buildings does not remotely come close to the necessary maintenance costs to keep them habitable.”

    Please offer your proof for this statement. And be specific. Do you know anything about this at all?

    “They are completely incompatible with the Cal State Fullerton Campus and the City of Fullerton in general”

    Says who? You? Who are you? Please explain why they incompatible? Completely? They were originally PART of CSUF, genius.

  14. Are residents around CSU Fullerton sick of the expanding campus or are they truly concerned about saving the architectural blessing that is Hope International University? Based on this web page I believe people here are fighting the expansion.

    I don’t have to be a genius to stand on the street and see that the “exagerrated modern” buildings on Hope’s campus are quite different than every building built on Cal State Fullerton’s campus in the last 20-30 years. The new campus has defintely shunned the “exagerated modern” (Googie) which is pretty obvious, genius! Look at Mihaylo Hall and the difference is obvious. This now makes the Hope buildings incompatible with the new CSU Fullerton campus, genius!

    My favorite part of Fullerton is downtown Fullerton. I see a lot of beautiful commercial buildings built in the 1920-1930s. I also see a lot of older homes such as craftsman style. I don’t see the beautiful “exaggerated modern” buildings that people on this web page are striving to protect. In fact, this modern style is probably incompatible with downtown Fullerton. People supporting this web page would be up in arms if somebody tried to “relocate” the beautiful Hope buildings into the middle of downtown Fullerton.

    I took a look at the Fullerton Heritage web site and found something interesting. Hope International University buildings are indeed classified under the broad heading of “Googie.” The older buildings on CSU Fullerton are classified as “Brutalism.” So I suppose that the styles are more incompatible than expected, regardless if CSU Fullerton ever owned them! I owned a 1984 honda accord once, it defintely is not compatible with my new Lexus, regardless if I owned one 25 years ago!

    I expect the people on this group will cancel my messages and contact the web master at Fullerton Heritage to make sure Hope Buildings are quickly re-classified into the heading “Exagerated Modern” because there is no way they could merely be cheesy looking googie buildings which are an architectural eye sore.

    Are residents around CSU Fullerton sick of the expanding campus or are they truly concerned about saving the architectural blessing that is Hope International University? Based on this web page I believe people here are fighting the expansion.

    I don’t have to be a genius to stand on the street and see that the “exagerrated modern” buildings on Hope’s campus are quite different than every building built on Cal State Fullerton’s campus in the last 20-30 years. The new campus has defintely shunned the “exagerated modern” (Googie) which is pretty obvious, genius! Look at Mihaylo Hall and the difference is obvious. This now makes the Hope buildings incompatible with the new CSU Fullerton campus, genius!

    My favorite part of Fullerton is downtown Fullerton. I see a lot of beautiful commercial buildings built in the 1920-1930s. I also see a lot of older homes such as craftsman style. I don’t see the beautiful “exaggerated modern” buildings that people on this web page are striving to protect. In fact, this modern style is probably “INCOMPATIBLE” with downtown Fullerton. People on this web page would be up in arms if somebody tried to “relocate” the beautiful Hope buildings into the middle of downtown Fullerton.

    I took a look at the Fullerton Heritage web site and found something interesting. Hope International University buildings are indeed classified under the broad heading of “Googie.” The older buildings on CSU Fullerton are classified as “Brutalism.” So I suppose that the styles are more incompatible than expected.

    I hope the people on this group will cancel my messages and contact the web master at Fullerton Heritage to make sure Hope Building are quickly re-classified into the heading “Exagerated Modern” because they are no way they could merely be cheesy looking googie building which are an architectural eye sore.

    http://www.fullertonheritage.org/Resources/archstyles/index.htm

  15. It looks like my message was duplicated. Sorry all. I guess people on the page will be twice as mad for people disagreeing with them after they red the comment twice.

  16. Could we just respect private property rights and let hope university do whatever it wants, especially if it wants to level those aweful looking building for something better and newer!

    1. David, welcome to our humble blog and thank you for commenting. That’s about the only kind thing I can think of saying. Your comments are unadulterated gibberish. I certainly hope you are not a CSUF alum.

  17. David, congratualtions on owning a Lexus. You must be very proud. But if you owned a classic MG would you shit-dump it just because it wasn’t new?

    Nowhere in your screed did you demonstrate how these buildings are falling apart, how they are substandard and why they are not historical.

    If what you say is true, then Fullerton Heritage’s site is wrong. Those buildings aren’t “googie” and don’t even look like it. There’s an earlier post on this site that explains the difference with a real academic referrence – not just hobbyists say-so. Maybe that’s why none of the heritage group ever went to bat to save the buildings demolished on Chapman Avenue – for a private apartment development.

    BTW, the older buildings at CSUF are not “brutalism” either. They got that wrong, too. They are neo-formal – following the work of Edward Durell Stone. You can look that up too, but try a legitimate reference.

    As far as the new buildings on campus go, they are getting bigger and bigger, clumsier and clumsier. Only an insensitive philistine could look across the street from Hope, over at that Mihaylo Hall monstrosity, with a sense of satisfaction.

  18. David :
    My favorite part of Fullerton is downtown Fullerton. I see a lot of beautiful commercial buildings built in the 1920-1930s. I also see a lot of older homes such as craftsman style. I don’t see the beautiful “exaggerated modern” buildings that people on this web page are striving to protect. In fact, this modern style is probably incompatible with downtown Fullerton. People supporting this web page would be up in arms if somebody tried to “relocate” the beautiful Hope buildings into the middle of downtown Fullerton.

    HELLO David, the exaggerated modern buildings that we believe are worth preserving are not in downtown Fullerton.

    And the next time you comment on our blog, please try to gather your thoughts before you click the Submit Comment box, you really made yourself sound very feeble minded. Thanks!

  19. Please delete all my comments. This is a one way forum. You are either for the agenda on this web page and looked upon favorably or you are not. I will tell the people at Fullerton Heritage that they are idiots for putting up false information and they clearly have it wrong. Fullerton’s “friends” have everything figured out on this side of the internet!

  20. This is not a one way forum, David. But don’t show up insulting us and trying to palm off incoherent rambling as intelligent discourse. You can tell the folks in the heritage group anything you like; you can even direct them to this site where they might learn something.

    Your comments will not be deleted. We don’t do that. Instead they will stand as a testamonial to the efficacy of the public school system.

  21. Thanks, Harpoon. You beat me to it. I was a little curious about where that guy popped up from and whether the CSUF Auxilliary sent him.

  22. The only reason the supporters of this blog think my statements are “rambling” is because 1) I can’t stand the sight of the buildings on the Hope University campus which are ugly and I hope they are torn down as soon as possible. Just because something was constructed does not mean that it will last forever or has any architectural significance! 2) My beliefs are in complete disagreement with this blog. It is pretty typical to be demonized if you don’t submit to somebody’s argument. Of course if I was a cheer leader for the Hope campus then I would be a briliant visionary who sees the amazing significance of “exagerated modern.”

    If you think I am rambling then I will refer you to Rachel’s post #20. In many ways she hit the nail on the head reagarding the Hope buildings.

    Besides, if CSU Fullerton ever takes over the Hope Campus, Fullerton’s “friends” will not be in charge of the property. CSU Fullerton will be in the driver’s seat since they own the property. And I am sure the campus adminstrators will recognize that those buildings are old and need to be demolished for a nice new 150,000 square foot building!

  23. Now, David, hon, don’t get all petulant on us. You really did show up looking for a fight and you got all bent out of shape when you got one. A bit disingenuous, I fear.

    FLW I think you might be on to something about this CSUF Auxilliary theory. Fortunately the market slump has taken a bit bite out of Cal State’s giant investment account slush fund so maybe that will slow them down a bit.

  24. I know this is a year late, but I just wanted to add that the buildings at Hope are in poor condition. I lived in the buildings at Hope for two years as an Undergrad. They are run-down and cold and SO ugly inside and out. I will not miss them at all once they are gone. I am also a new employee of Cal State Fullerton and very much in the know of how badly our school needs more space. The plans for this area after the re-aquirement look promising. They will help to provide our University with the “village” atmosphere that I missed as a student. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

    1. Sarah, “Can’t wait to see how it all turns out.” Since you seemed so in touch with things over at Hope/CSUF, what happened to “the plans for this area…”?

    1. Dorian, Walter Beeson was the architect and Edward A. Holden was the planning consultant for what was called “College Park Fullerton”.

  25. This last week I visited the Palm Springs Museum and saw the Donald Wexler, architect, exhibit created by Cal Poly architecture students, excellent Modern work.

    1. Dorian, I’m sure that was a fun museum to visit. Now here’s a bit of interesting trivia; Supervisor Shawn Nelson grew up in the “Steel House” (below) in Buena Park that was a case study house designed by Donald Wexler:
      Wexler's Steel House

  26. Actually, it is called the Style In Steel House. Probably the most significant architectural structure in the city of Buena Park and almost no one knows it exists.

    Our family sold the house a few years ago when Morningside called grandma for simpler living. The house was very big to maintain and, no doubt, lonely at night.

    It remains essentially the same as when it was built back in ’67. The original fountains in the front have been gone since I was in high school (they were a maintenance headache that never cured) and the three car garage was added to the house back in the 70’s when a paddle tennis court and separate storage garage were built on the adjacent lot to the north (now a separate house).

    The picture above shows the patio off the living room. It looks out at the 8th green of Los Coyotes golf course. The photo was likely taken in the 60’s based on the size of the landscaping.
    front entry

  27. That entry way is incredible. Why dont more people do something significant architecturally when they build custom homes on the estate type lots in Fullerton?

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