Lost Holmes | Pomona College Magazine
Spring 2017 /Hidden Pomona/

Lost Holmes

Lost HolmesAlong the back wall of the Pomona College Archives stands an overlapping row of heavy bronze plaques. Some are from buildings or spaces that no longer exist; others have simply been replaced by newer plaques.

The plaque at right is one of the largest and heaviest and dates from around 1916, when it was installed in Holmes Hall, the first campus building constructed after the founding of the College in 1887. (The only older building is Sumner Hall, which was built as a hotel before Pomona College was established.)

Holmes Hall was constructed in 1892 as a three-story, kerosene-lit Queen Anne Victorian, but a total renovation in 1916 left it unrecognizable, converting it into a two-story, stuccoed Mission Revival structure to match its neighbors—Bridges Hall of Music and Rembrandt Hall. This plaque was apparently created to celebrate that “rebuilt” incarnation of Holmes.

Originally a mixed-use building housing everything from a chapel to a chemistry lab, Holmes was later associated mainly with theatre. Two years before its centennial, deemed unsafe and impractical to renovate, the building was demolished in 1990 to make room for the current Alexander Hall.

ITEM: Holmes Hall plaque
COLLECTION: Pomona College Artifact Collection
DESCRIPTION: Bronze plaque, 23.5” wide X 35.5” high
DATE: circa 1916

If you have an item from Pomona’s history that you would like to see preserved in the Pomona College Archives, please call 909-621-8138.