The University of California, Los Angeles--UCLA for short--is the second largest campus in enrollment in the University of California system. It is located in the western part of Los Angeles with the Santa Monica Mountains as a backdrop and the blue Pacific Ocean about five miles distant. The campus is of rolling terrain and was once a part of an old Spanish land grant, the Rancho San Jose de Buenos Ayres.
The young campus continued to grow in both quantity and quality for several reasons: it met the needs of a burgeoning southern California; it inherited a rich academic tradition from the Berkeley campus; and it attracted brilliant young teachers, scholars, and scientists. Another factor in the rapid growth of the Los Angeles campus was the generous support from five affiliated groups which embraced both the University and the community: the UCLA Art Council, the University Affiliates, the Friends of the Library, the UCLA Medical Center Auxiliary, and the Friends of Music (now disbanded).
In the mid-1920s, it was obvious that the 25-acre Vermont Avenue location would be too small for the rapidly-growing institution. A search for a new campus was conducted by the Board of Regents, and some 17 sites from Ventura county to San Diego county were formally considered. The Regents chose the so-called "Beverly Site"--just west of Beverly Hills--and announced its selection on March 21, 1925.
The owners of the land, Edwin Janss and Harold Janss, who controlled some 200 acres of the site, and Alphonzo Bell, owner of the rest of the 383-acre tract, offered to sell the land for $1 million, though its value for subdivision purposes was several times this amount. The Janss brothers, in effect, made a gift on the order of $3 million; Mr. Bell, a gift of $350,000.
Shortly thereafter, the citizens of surrounding communities came forward with an offer to raise the remaining sum through a bond issue. Los Angeles provided $70,000; Santa Monica, $120,000; Beverly Hills, $100,000; and Venice, $50,000. Later, the City Council of Los Angeles augmented the gift fund by an appropriation of $100,000.
The first four buildings--the College Library, Royce Hall, the Physics-Biology Building, and the Chemistry Building--were located around a central quadrangle. Because the rolling terrain of the campus suggested northern Italy, a Romanesque or Italian Renaissance style of architecture was adopted, featuring red brick, cast stone trim, and tile roofs. Many of the early buildings were modeled from churches and universities in Bologna, Milan, and Verona.
During the 1930s several other buildings were added to the cluster around the main quadrangle--the Education Building, Kerckhoff Hall, the Men's Gymnasium, the Women's Gymnasium, Mira Hershey Hall, and the Administration Building. After World War II, the architects changed to a less costly and more modern style which still featured red brick. The 1950s and early 1960s saw a building boom that produced more than 60 permanent structures on campus.
By 1965, the following institutes and research centers were in existence: African Studies Center; Archaeological Survey; Brain Research Institute; Business Administration Research Division; Bureau of Business and Economics Research; Cancer Research Institute; Cardiovascular Research Laboratory, Los Angeles County Heart Association; Center for the Study of Comparative Folklore and Mythology Studies; Health Sciences Computing Facility; Computing Facility; Institute of Ethnomusicology; Exceptional Child Research; Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics; Institute of Government and Public Affairs; Institute of Industrial Relations; Center for Labor Research and Education; Center for Research in Language and Linguistics; Latin American Center; Law-Science Research Center; Library Research Institute; Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Molecular Biology Institute; Near Eastern Center; Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology; Oral History Program; Real Estate Research Program; Russian and East European Studies Center; Space Sciences Center; Jules Stein Eye Institute; Institute of Transportation and Traffic Engineering; Water Resources Center; Western Data Processing Center; Western Management Sciences Institute; and Zoology Fisheries Research.
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The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Last updated 06/18/04.