Thursday, October 18, 2007

future Hannon library construction Oct '07

Last Friday while on bike Father Rolfs was involved in a collision with one of the heavy construction trucks. Today I learned he was apparently on his way to take his daily photo of the library construction.

Until he returns I try to remember to keep it going.

Friday, May 18, 2007

At Last!

Well it's mid-May and the big toys showed up to start playing in the dirt this week!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007


Rhetorical composition led the curricula at St. Vincent's College in early Los Angeles and the elite small college produced a number of national figures including a close contemporary of philosopher John Dewey, Columbia educator Dr. David Snedden, composer Ferde Grofe (Grand Canyon Suite) and Krazy Kat cartoonist George Herriman.

Argued as one of the earliest LA noir detective novelists, S.S. Van Dine attended St. Vincent’s in 1902 enrolled as William Huntington Wright.

St. Vincent's College, 1887-1910

Needing even more space despite a major 1883 renovation and with real-estate booming speculation the campus moved southwest in 1887 to a much larger site at Washington Street and Grand Avenue. Designed and constructed by J.V. McNeil Construction, the new campus boasted a “modern” furnished College Library. The first major improvement came in 1903 with the arrival of the new Bishop of Monterey and Los Angeles. Dr. Thomas Conaty, a nationally renown orator and former Rector of The Catholic University of America generously donated books from his personal collection to build up the library.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bishop Amat

From his earliest days in California Bishop Amat envisioned a seminary of Vincentians in Los Angeles yet operations in Mexico City delayed his mission according to Monseignor Weber. Ironically with the closing of St. John's Seminary and a possible move to LMU, Amat's dream may yet come true!

It took Amat twelve years until Saint Vincent Select College for Boys opened in 1865. In donated rooms at Don Lugo's townhouse on the plaza, the first college in Los Angeles could have started collecting with books from Don Coronel and Don Lugo and any books Amat did not leave to his newly furnished Theological Library in Philadelphia.

Only a few years later a red brick Georgian collegiate hall designed by Miguel Rubi rose as the first American two-story building in Los Angeles and for a time was the first place that came to mind for books and law in the baby city. In 1877 visiting Archduke of Austria Ludwig Salvador noted in his journal Los Angeles in the Sunny Seventies the college with a “small chapel and library”.

A monastary nestled into the Montsarrat

Taking a break from the temp road, we continue making the story of how this library is coming about.

Loyola Marymount is a religious university rooted deeply from monastic life. Many early European Christian orders began in the ancient rugged caves of the Pyrennes wall of mountains separating the Ibernian peninsula from the plains of Europe. The nearby Spanish port of Barcelona exported missionaries world wide and eventually contributed the scholastics necessary to rebuild a Roman Catholic hierarchy in early American Los Angeles.

The waterfront at Barcelona.

The year was 1838 and Thaddeus Amat, a young Basque priest inspired with St. Vincent’s urgings for instruction of both the poor and priests eagerly debarked in New Orleans to begin a teaching career up river at the Assumption Seminary near Donaldsonville Louisiana.

A son of prominence, Amat was an outstanding student mastering native Spanish, Catalan, French, and Italian tongues. In America he added Latin, Greek, Hebrew and English.

A talent for administration yet overcame his teaching abilities and by the time he was only thirty-nine Father Thad had risen to Superior at St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia. To his dismay the priest teacher would not be a regular patron of the Theological Library that he had then established on Race Street. It would take an 1853 order from the Holy Father himself to compel Amat to assume the Bishopric of the Diocese of Monterey in the wild new state of American California. Below is Los Angeles as it appeared in 1853.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Temp road continues

A view to the Southeast with the Von der Ahe Library in the background

Thursday, April 12, 2007


applied, e.g. to the shop or warehouse of a bookseller. In various applications more or less specific. a. Applied to a room in a house, etc.; also, a bookcase. In mod. use, the designation of one of the set of rooms ordinarily belonging to an English house above a certain level of size and pretension.

c1374 CHAUCER Boeth. I. pr. v. 15 (Camb. MS.) The walles of thi lybrarye aparayled and wrowht with yuory and with glas.
1430-40 LYDG. Bochas VI. i. (1554) 142 Bochas pensief stode in his library.
1488 Inventory in Arch├Žologia XLV. 120 On the south side of the Vestrarie standeth a grete library.
1779 M. TYSON in Lett. Lit. Men (Camden) 195, I there saw his library, i.e. the Room which once contained his Books.
1794 MRS. RADCLIFFE Myst. Udolpho i, The library occupied the west side of the chateau.
1854 W. COLLINS Hide & Seek II. ii. (1861) 161 Zack descended cautiously to the back parlour, which was called a ‘library’.

pasted from OED, 2nd Edition

setting in a temporary road

Westerly view of the new temp road from Ignatian Circle Drive

Today the Los Angeles Loyolan ran a 4 page insert "Introducing the New William H. Hannon Library".

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

construction fence erecting!

7:30 in the morning April 10 a crew begins installing a safety fence securing the site for excavation.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

first inkling of a new library?

During a meeting before the CASE Advisory Group in late fall 1992, LMU Von der Ahe Library Director Dr. Ed Evans was asked if a new library was being planned. Dr. Evans stated that was only a rumor, a new libary was not on any list of institutional priorities. Political Science professor Michael Genovese stated that all great universities have great libraries and should have the highest priority of all brick and mortar projects. - CASE Advisory Group meeting notes, 2 Nov 1992

Almost 150 years ago!

Thaddeus Amat, the newly appointed Roman Catholic Bishop was assigned to tame wild southern California and in 1865 founded St. Vincent's, the first college in Los Angeles on the upper floors of the Lugo adode. This Catholic high school would then begin a run as one of the oldest continously operated enterprises in Los Angeles.

LMU Dean of Libraries Kris Brancolini announces library groundbreaking and open house!

Above is a view of the site of the future Hannon library. After years of pioneering effort led by Ed Evans, Rhonda (mother of LINUS), Janet, Marcia, Tony, Naomi, Errol, Cynthia et al bringing the university library into the ultramodern age from Dewey cards to LOC we finally begin.

Al Tipon from Facilities Management presented a three phase excavation schedule for this summer to kick off the building project for the William H. Hannon Library. He also mentioned there will be installed soon two webcams to view the work in situ live!

So it looks like there will be two groundbreakings! The "Little Dig" ceremonies will probably be May 7th when the D9 crews begin play in the dirt this summer. Then a second more elegant gala affair, "the Big Dig" in the fall.

Ray Hilyar presented the new parking system. It seemed to be based on recommendations from an independent three year pattern study. Chief had the line of the day remarking how Brinks trucks don't have to pull over for flashing police lights.

"Anybody can get flashing police lights - heck, they gave them to us!"