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History of the Grove House

Early Grove House logo

Early Grove House logo

Early Grove House logo

The Grove House on blocks after being moved in 1977

The Grove House was the first student cultural center established at Pitzer College. It remains the touchstone of the Pitzer campus and offers a respite from daily concerns and academic pressures. Quiet conversations, reading or writing, cultural events such as musical performances in the lobby, poetry readings in the Bert Meyers Poetry Room, or student art exhibitions in the Hinshaw Art Gallery; a women’s center, an ecology center and nutritious foods are all part of the Grove House experience.

Built in 1902 during the height of what has been termed the American Arts and Crafts Movement, the Grove House is an impressive architectural example of the California bungalow style, characteristic of the period. Originally located on Harrison Avenue in Claremont, the Grove House was purchased from George N. Hamilton by Mr. and Mrs. Arvid P. Zetterberg on March 20, 1930. The Zetterberg House was subsequently purchased by Pitzer for $1 and, as part of a Pitzer class taught by professor emeritus Barry Sanders entitled “The Arts and Crafts Movement in America,” was moved from Pilgrim Place to the campus on July 16, 1977.

George Newton Hamilton

George N. Hamilton

The Grove House was initially intended to function as one large living room with an atmosphere conducive to relaxing, socializing, drinking coffee, and, at that time, smoking. The essence of the house has always been hospitality. The upstairs guest room has accommodated visiting parents, alumni, faculty, and friends of the College. The student caretaker’s room provides annual lodging for the elected student who supervises the maintenance of the house, works in the kitchen, and is the first individual to provide a welcoming smile to all Grove House visitors.

Countless Pitzer students remember the Grove House as an integral component of their unique college experience – one that provides a home away from home.