Claremont, Calif. (October 22, 2013)—Pitzer College’s Grove House is throwing a big birthday party. On Friday, October 25, Pitzer’s popular café and social center will celebrate turning 111 years old with hand-crafted food, a student-run haunted house and live music by the Herbert Bail Orchestra and The Jaguars. The festivities start at 8:30 p.m.
“It should be just a great celebration for all students,” said Justine Oesterle ’14, the Grove House’s student caretaker.
Founded in 1963, Pitzer College is marking its 50th anniversary this year, making the Grove House the oldest building on campus by more than a half century. Built on Harrison Avenue in 1902, the year Teddy Roosevelt became the first American President to ride in an automobile, the year of the first Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the year the country’s first full-time movie theater opened in Los Angeles. The craftsman-style bungalow even pre-dates the incorporation of the City of Claremont by five years.
In 1977, the house was destined for demolition before it was sold for $1 to Pitzer and relocated to the College’s grounds, making its approximately two-mile journey across town in the middle of the night, flanked by a small parade. It eventually became Pitzer’s first student center. Although it is situated on the north side of Pitzer, many consider the Grove House the heart of the College’s campus.
“It has that feeling of home,” said Zenia Gutierrez, the food service manager of the Grove House.
Keeping in the tradition of a house that dates back to an era before pre-packaged and processed food, the Grove House staff cooks from scratch whenever possible, using mostly locally sourced and organic food.
Today, the Grove House is also home to a women’s center, the Ecology Center, the Hinshaw Art Gallery and Bert Meyers Poetry Room. It serves as the venue for live music, student-run club meetings and regular storytelling slams.
Please visit the Grove House’s Facebook page for more information about the birthday party.