Pomona College Magazine
Volume 41. No. 2.
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Crookshank Hall joins the list of venerable Pomona buildings to get a new lease on life.

The New Face of Crookshank

Kindra Wilson ’08 flashes to Beauty and the Beast every time her class (Shakespeare and Stoppard: A Marriage of True Minds) meets in English Professor Martha Andresen’s corner office at Crookshank Hall. The floor-to-ceiling wooden bookshelves with the rolling ladder remind her of the Beast’s breathtaking library in the movie.

“Sometimes I just want to jump on the ladder,” said Wilson, still in awe of the architecture and furnishings of the classrooms at Pomona. “I’ve never seen academic buildings like this before.”

The renovated Crookshank, which houses the English and Classics departments, is indeed a marvel. Every office has at least one full wall of wooden bookshelves—all floor to ceiling with the rolling ladders—and the most square footage of any faculty offices on campus. The expanded English library welcomes visitors to browse through its collection of 1,500 books. The Mulhauser Seminar Room on the second floor has a 12-foot round table that fills the room, perfect for classroom discussions. The Ena Thompson Reading Room on the first floor welcomes visitors with couch seating and temporary exhibitions from the permanent collection of the Pomona College Museum of Art.

“We basically kept the structure of the building and put in new furnishings and finishings,” said Jim Hansen, director of Campus Planning and Maintenance, of the summer 2004 renovation, part of the long-range campus renovation plan approved by trustees in 1999.
The plan allows for the renovation and preservation of one academic building and one dormitory each year, of the 60 buildings on campus. Crookshank, one of the oldest buildings on campus, was built in the early 1920s.

“We quickly found that the coziness of the space here enhances the discussion,” said Andresen, who for the first time in her 32 years at Pomona gave her students the option of meeting in her office rather than the classroom. “They built in more elegance and made it more functional, while keeping the integrity of the building and fostering the sense of relationship between students and faculty.”








 

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