City of Claremont Honors Scripps College with Excellence in Design Award

Posted: April 28, 2014

Scripps College has been recognized by the city of Claremont for its restoration and landscaping efforts on its historic campus.

City officials will present Scripps with a 2013 Excellence in Design Award for distinguished work on the College’s iconic Margaret Fowler Garden. A public award presentation takes place May 14. A reception will begin at 6:15 p.m. in the lobby of the Claremont City Hall, 207 N. Harvard Ave. The award ceremony will follow at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public.

The three-month project to renovate the Margaret Fowler Garden included repairing three original concrete columns, installing a new waterproof roof, and replacing the garden’s arbor installed above a mural painted by famed Mexican artist Alfredo Ramos Martínez. The College collaborated with a general contractor “who took meticulous care” to protect the mural and the wisteria that twists around the arbor and columns during the restorative work, says Lola Trafecanty, Scripps’ director of grounds.

The project also links the present with the past – the College added concealed wireless hubs so that students can access the campus network on laptops and mobile devices while in the garden. “We were very careful with all of these improvements to preserve its historic integrity,” Trafecanty says. “We wanted the garden to appear as if it had never been touched or restored.”

Scripps College, a top women’s liberal arts college, has appeared in national rankings for its campus beauty, in addition to its academic standing. In 2010, Forbes selected Scripps for its “World’s Most Beautiful College Campuses” list. The Margaret Fowler Garden, installed in 1936, was originally designed as a European medieval-style cloister garden to be located east of a proposed campus chapel. However, the chapel was never built, and now the College cherishes this secret garden situated at the heart of the leafy campus.

In 1980, the city of Claremont’s Architectural Commission established the Excellence in Design Awards Program to recognize and encourage high-quality design projects.

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