Welcome to the Village area of Claremont CA located adjacent to The Claremont Colleges.
Self-guided tour information is provided by Claremont Heritage located at the Garner House in Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont. Office hours are M-F 9:00-1:00. Phone 909-621-0848
Claremont Village mobile website is found at TheVilClare.com -- Restaurants, Visitors Directory (shops, galleries, spas, salons and more) and Village Events.
We sincerely hope you'll enjoy your tour - an historic overview of the area ...
This stunning example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style with its thick stucco walls, wood grille windows, red tile roof, and Moorish arches is on the National Register of Historic Places. It stands along the railroad tracks where Claremont began in 1887 as a townsite on the Santa Fe Railroad route into California. This 1927 structure replaced the original 1887 wooden Victorian station. In 1967, the Santa Fe closed the Depot and it remained vacant until 1990, when the City of Claremont purchased the building and restored it to its 1920's splendor to serve as a transit center for Metrolink commuter trains and a regional bus system. Be sure to notice the frescoed ceiling.
Second stop, look behind you from the front of the Depot and find Harvard Avenue - Curtis Real Estate (the longest-established real estate business in Claremont) is on the left and Tutti Mangia is on the right. Walk by Tutti Mangia 1 block north to your next stop.
Another example of Spanish Colonial Revival style, the Post Office was a Works Progress
Administration project during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Its well-balanced facade and elevated placement help define this corner as part of the city’s civic center. Claremont artist Milford Zornes painted the mural in the lobby depicting Claremont scenes of the 1930's.
Next stop is located caddy-corner from where you're standing.
Begun in 1925 (with additions and remodeling in 1930, 1935, 1948, and 1998) as a fire and police station, this building is another example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, which was very popular in that era. The current City Council chamber on Second Street occupies what used to be the 1925 fire station. Look at those tall arched openings and bumpers and picture the fire engines with the volunteer firemen speeding out!
Continue traveling north on Harvard Avenue past City Hall until you see a two-story brick building at the corner of Harvard and Bonita Avenues.
This brick building filled with eclectic group of shops, a salon and restaurant is one of the most successful adaptive reuses in the Village. The tall two-story brick structure once housed Claremont’s only movie theatre. At that time, shops were on the southwest corner: Imaginative use of the large theatre space finds shops and a salon on the then newly-created mezzanine and a restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining on the first-floor patio area.
If you look across the street to the east at a single-story brick building, you'll see your next stop. Cross Harvard Avenue and continue walking east on Bonita Avenue.
This unique brick building was built to house Claremont Book and Drug by Edwin and Mabel Getzman. The south part at 248 Harvard Avenue was the drug store and is now home to Colors 91711 a specialty store featuring yarns, classes and gifts while the north part at 250 Harvard Avenue was a book-stationery store used by Pomona College. Rio de Ojas, a unique gift shop, is its current occupant.
Your next 3 stops are associated with The Claremont Colleges. Walk 1 block east on Bonita Avenue. Look to your left to view Seaver House (N/W corner of Bonita and College Avenues).
This was the home of the Carleton Seaver family, major donors to Pomona College. Since all six Seaver children attended Pomona College, Mr. Seaver¹s widow also willed the house to the college. It was moved to this site in 1979 in three parts from its original location at Garey and Holt Blvd. in Pomona, and was reassembled to serve as headquarters for the Alumni Relations Office. The house is a beautiful example of the Greek Revival style with its two-story classical columns. Notice the wooden owls in the third-story gables and tree, whose job it is to scare away destructive woodpeckers!
If you're standing in front of Seaver House (on College Ave.), walk 1 block south (that's to your left) to the N/W corner of Second Street and College Avenue.
This large, two-story, late Victorian features a two-story turret and geometric multi-light windows. A large bay window on the south side is supported by brackets. The wraparound entry porch has classical columns. The house, which now accommodates Pomona Colleges Annual Giving Office, was built by Mrs. Helen Renwick, a widow from Iowa, who moved here to raise her only son and educate him from elementary school through Pomona College. She donated the money for construction of Rembrandt Hall, the art building at Pomona College, and the establishment of Pilgrim Place, a retirement community for Christian workers. She also donated the land behind her house to be used as the site for a Claremont library, a second version of which stands there today.
Next stop, continue walking 1 block south on College Avenue to the N/W corner of First Street.
This is Claremont¹s only full-scale, classic Queen Anne Victorian house. Built in 1887, it is marked by three gables, bays, sun rooms, excellent wood ornamentation in fish scale and diamond shingle patterns, and horizontal and vertical clapboard siding. The home of one of the founders of Pomona College, Rev. Charles Burt Sumner; it was moved to this site a decade after the college decided to settle in Claremont. Beautifully restored by Pomona College, it now serves as a guest house for visitors to the campus, which begins just across the street. Yes, the colors are very close to the original.
Our brief look at college-oriented buildings is over. Turn right (go west) on First Street and continue 2 blocks to Yale Avenue. Cross the street, turn right on Yale Avenue, go past Espiau's Restaurante Y Cantina and you'll arrive at your next stop.
This building is on the site of Claremont’s first general store, Urbanus. There has been a bakery at this location for over 50 years. When you go in, look for the wooden shelves behind the bakery counter.
Continue north to the first intersection, turn right and cross the street (go east) on Second Street.
Built originally as a car dealership, the current ’50s-style diner once housed Ford automobiles. If you peek under the aluminum awning on the Yale Avenue window, you will see the arch that once defined the showroom!
Simply look behind you (north on Yale Avenue), cross the street and you'll arrive at your next stop.
Verbal Building - This Classical Revival building is one of the finest commercial buildings in the Village. Built first to house the Claremont National Bank, it served as the Bank of America for many years. The first floor then became the Claremont Pharmacy and the second floor served as the Masonic Lodge. Recently refurbished following several damaging earthquakes, the building retains its impressive Classical Revival columns which encouraged early bank patrons to trust the integrity and stability of the bank.
To reach your next destination, cross the intersection at Second Street and turn right (north), go 1 block and you'll be there.
Known to most old-timers as Bentley’s Market, this site was run until the 1980s by three generations of the Bentley family. Notice the rounded corner and the simple band of concrete encircling the entire building. These are all hallmarks of the Streamline Moderne architectural style of the 1930s.
Next, go past Rhino Records and turn left (west) at Bonita Avenue, travel 1 block ahead and you're there.
Dr. Arthur L. Jacobsen had this English Tudor Revival style office built for his dental practice. It has become a corner anchor for the Village, and is unusual in Claremont because of its use of “clinker” brick and steeply pitched roof lines.
Your final Village business site is about 4 blocks away. Go left (south) at Indian Hill Blvd. 2 blocks to First Street. At the intersection, go right (west) on First Street for 2 blocks. Cross (go left -south) at the intersection of Oberlin Avenue, then, right (west) in front of the Public Parking structure and you'll see The Packing House ahead.
Packing House - This imposing building is the only one that remains of four packing houses that once lined the Santa Fe tracks in Claremont. It was here that the citrus fruit, which was the economic lifeline of this community, was washed, graded, stored, and shipped all over the United States and Europe, and eventually Japan. This particular concrete, block, and wooden structure was the lemon packing house for the College Heights Orange and Lemon Association. Claremont growers were among the first to organize a cooperative method for marketing their fruit. Their system, which was adopted statewide, became known throughout the world as “Sunkist.” Packing House was renovated and re-opened in 20??? to include live-work lofts, restaurants, retail shops, galleries and classes.
Also located in the Claremont Village:
North on Indian Hill Blvd., east on Harrison Avenue 2 blocks to Harvard Avenue - N/W corner.
Once called the community church, this was the only Protestant church in town from 1891 to 1949. It was the center of much of the academic, social, and philanthropic activity of the early town. The original church building was demolished in the 1960s. The Guildhall, facing Harrison Avenue, was built in 1928 and is the oldest remaining structure on the property. This church defines the northern end of the Village.
Return to Indian Hill Blvd., continue west on Harrison Avenue 2 blocks to Avery Avenue. Turn right on Avery Ave.
Begun in 1914 as the Claremont Missionary Home, this retirement home for Christian workers moved to its current location in 1924. Over 150 homes on winding streets – with names like Mayflower and Bradford – give this complex the look of a small village of the 1920s.
We hope you've enjoyed your tour and invite you to return to the Claremont Village in the near future.
We sincerely hope you'll enjoy your tour - a brief historic overview of The Claremont Colleges....
Founded in 1887, Pomona College is a premiere liberal arts college with a focus on the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences
This concert hall, designed by Pasadena architect Myron Hunt, was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Appleton Bridges of San Diego, whose daughter died in 1907, a year before her graduation from Pomona College. Hunt chose a style that included classical elements in a Roman Basilica exterior and an interior noted for its beautifully painted wood-beamed ceiling reflective of the Mexican heritage of this area. Hunt went on to lay out the plan for the Pomona College campus.
This Art Deco concert hall, called “Big Bridges” to distinguish it from Bridges Hall of Music, was a second gift from the family of Mabel Shaw Bridges. For many years it was the largest concert hall east of Los Angeles, seating 2,500. It is the eastern anchor of Marston Quadrangle, one of the beautifully landscaped green spaces that mark all of the Claremont Colleges. This auditorium is shared by all the Colleges and is used for some theatrical productions, graduations, and concerts. Phone (909) 621-8032.
Founded in 1925, Claremont Graduate University is a private, graduate-only institution which offers small class sizes.
This imposing building was designed by Gordon Kaufman as the administrative headquarters and classroom building for Claremont Graduate University. It is named after Jacob Harper; advisor of Ellen Browning Scripps, who donated the money for this building and most of the money for the land which has allowed all the newer campuses to be built. Just south of this building is a fountain and pergola dedicated to James Blaisdell, founder of the Claremont Colleges plan. Each column of the pergola bears a quotation of Blaisdell’s illustrating his vision and world view. Its bubbling fountain and shady bench offer a nice spot to rest and relax.
This is the major facility shared by all the Claremont Colleges and the Graduate University. The original library building was designed by Gordon Kaufman who also designed Scripps College and Hoover Dam. The library was expanded and remodeled in the 1960s and 1980s. Named for the mining engineer and philanthropist, William Honnold, it now holds 1.8 million volumes and over 6,000 periodicals. If you walk by the east side of the building after dark, you can see seven floors of books through the large window. That area is often called the “great stack.”
The distinctive mosaics on the facade of this 750-seat auditorium were created by Millard Sheets, art professor at Scripps and the Graduate University, who is best known for the tile mosaics he designed for the Home Federal Savings Banks. He designed this building with David Underwood. The facility is shared by all the colleges.
Founded in 1926, Scripps College is a nationally top-ranked private liberal arts college for women.
Balch Hall is the formal entrance to Scripps and its administrative center; designed by architect Sumner Hunt to fit into the overall plan of the campus, which was designed by Gordon Kaufman. The informality of this Mediterranean style is matched by the easy movement from interior to exterior spaces in this building with its beautiful courtyards.
This small, walled garden contains olive and orange trees and interior arcades, one of which is covered by an enormous wisteria vine. On one wall is a fresco painted in 1946 by Mexican muralist Alfredo Ramos Martinez, who died before its completion. The garden was a gift in memory of Margaret Fowler; a local philanthropist who started a rehabilitation program for children with nerve and brain damage at her home, called Casa Colina.
Founded in 1946, Claremont McKenna College is a private, coeducational, undergraduate liberal arts college.
The first structure built for Claremont McKenna College, this hall was named after a major donor; Russell Pitzer; who would also make generous donations to Harvey Mudd College and have Pitzer College named after him. Its simple yet dignified design was created by architect George Allison, whose uncle, David Allison, set up the plan of the campus. It is sympathetic to the Mediterranean style of Scripps College to the north and to the dormitories of Pomona College to the south.
A unique program at CMC gave rise to this very attractive and much used modern structure designed by Quincy Jones. Believing that students would benefit from a more personal and informal interaction with professors and distinguished visitors to the campus, CMC built this athenaeum, which offers a dining room and meeting rooms for small group encounters and lectures that are often open to the community at large.
Founded in 1955, Harvey Mudd College is a private liberal arts college focusing on mathematics, the physical and biological sciences, and engineering.
Here is a sculpture brought to Claremont from Italy by Thomas Church, who landscaped the Harvey Mudd campus. It is by Giovanni Bologna (1552-1608), a major sculptor of the Italian Renaissance. The fountain is a symbol of the commitment of this engineering and scientific college to a foundation in the humanities and social sciences.
Founded in 1963, Pitzer College is an undergraduate college of the liberal arts and sciences.
On Mills Avenue; Accessible from the Eastern Terminus of Twelfth Street
Scott Hall was named for Russell Pitzer’s second wife, Ina Scott Pitzer, and was for many years the central administrative building for the campus, with classrooms and faculty offices. Many of these functions have been moved recently to the Eli Broad Center.
This craftsman bungalow was once set in the middle of an orange grove on Harrison Avenue in Claremont, and was moved to the Pitzer campus in 1977 as a warm, inviting campus center and coffee house for students and faculty. The landscaping around the building is outstanding, as faculty and students have planted a small grove, a desert garden, and a native habitat.
Information is provided by Claremont Heritage located at the Garner House
in Memorial Park, 840 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont CA 91711
Mailing address: PO Box 740, Claremont CA 91711
Office hours are Monday thru Friday 9:00-1:00