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Campus Heritage Network

Scripps College

Scripps College, Claremont, California

Scripps College Strategic Plan (Website)

Landscape and Architectural Blueprint (PDF) 2.1MB

Scripps was created with a unified historic campus plan influenced by Mission Revival architecture, popular in California at the time of the college's founding in 1926. The campus plan was the result of collaboration between architect Gordon Kaufmann and landscape architect Edward Huntsman-Trout, in consultation with the college's benefactor, Ellen Browning Scripps. The resulting design of the buildings and grounds has provided a distinctive look for this small residential women's college, which is listed as an historic district in the National Register of Historic Places. Funding will support a campus stewardship master plan for its historic buildings and landscapes, which will guide the college in its future preservation efforts.

Scripps College received a Getty grant in 2002 for $130,000 to support campus heritage planning.

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Report Summary

Purpose: Funding will support a campus stewardship master plan for its historic buildings and landscapes to guide the college in its future preservation efforts—articulating the design values of campus designers in a “Statement of Historic Principles.”

Historic Designation: Scripps College for Women (including 13 contributing properties, National Register of Historic Places).

Scripps’ campus has a unified design influenced by Mission Revival architecture, popular in California at the time of the college's founding in 1926. The campus plan resulted from collaboration between architect Gordon Kaufmann and landscape architect Edward Huntsman-Trout, in consultation with the college's benefactor, Ellen Browning Scripps, and its co-creator and first president, Ernest J. Jaqua. Huntsman-Tout also influenced the selection of vegetation and its placement, for aesthetic reasons, close to buildings. Other designers include architects John Carl Warnecke as well as Criley and McDowell, and landscape architect Thomas Church. The campus as a whole, buildings and grounds, forms a distinctive cultural landscape (i.e., a landscape notable for the history occurring there).

Planning Process Used

  • Engaged specialists to supplement expertise on the university’s Blueprint Committee
  • Researched campus design and history, particularly with primary sources
  • Extrapolated a Statement of Historic Principles articulating the philosophy behind the campus design
  • Analyzed National Park Service and cultural landscape* materials to determine criteria for significance and integrity, recommended treatments, and landscape typology [*“Integrity as a Value in Cultural Landscape Preservation,” in Preserving Cultural Landscapes in America (Alanen and Melnick, eds., 2000).]
  • Identified and assessed the condition of significant structures and areas
  • Surveyed structural and landscape areas adjacent to the historic district—East Campus and West Campus
  • Issued university recommendations for treating structures, materials, and landscapes with a focus on rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, and occasional reconstruction

Outcomes: Products

  • Statement of Historic Principles
  • Summary of Findings
  • List of landscapes, buildings, and associated courtyards located within the historic district and built 1926-39, 1956-71, and 1990-present
  • List of significant historic landscapes within the historic district
  • List of structures and landscapes contributing to the historic district
  • Horticultural and arboricultural considerations
  • Bibliography

Outcomes: Plans

  • Integrate historic research into interpretive university programs, such as campus tours
  • Prepare individual cultural landscape reports for each landscape area within the historic district, creating guides to future work in those areas
  • Prioritized treatment recommendations for various areas, pursuant to building condition assessments

Outcomes: Policies and Practices

  • Recognition of the prevalence of courtyards

Unique Features

  • Process heavily dependent on staff and student participation, e.g., university committee providing impetus for the Getty proposal
  • Statement of Historic Principles
  • Summary of Findings and its location at front of the report
  • Horticultural and arboricultural considerations

Advisors The project was led by university stakeholders, convened as part of a Landscape and Architectural Blueprint Committee

  • Chair: Vice President of Business Affairs
  • Vice chair: Vice Pres. for Development and College Relations (plus Admin. Assistant)
  • Assistant Director of Grounds
  • Assistant Director of Libraries of The Claremont Colleges
  • Director of the Clark Humanities Museum
  • Director of Facilities
  • Director of Foundations and Corporate Relations
  • Director of Grounds
  • Director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery
  • Professor of Art History and Humanities

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