College of the Holy Names circa 1890 and 1955

A big thanks to Lincoln Cushing, Digital Archivist – Communications Consultant, of Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources, who sent us a couple really terrific photos originally from the Oakland Tribune. Enjoy!

College of the Holy Names graduates, 1890.
The Holy Names College graduates, 1890.

College of the Holy Names on Lake Merritt, 1955.
Holy Names College on original site, currently Kaiser Building and The Ordway. Circa 1955.

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College of the Holy Names Nuns on Lake Merritt

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Raskob Learning Institute and Day School

Raskob Learning Institute and Day School

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New Beginnings: Campus Construction

College of the Holy Names New Campus Construction

The 60-acre property nestled in the Oakland hills was purchased by the Sisters with the money earned by the sale of the Lake Merritt campus to Henry Kaiser. The mid-century modern campus buildings, designed by Bay Area architect Milton T. Pflueger, were constructed from 1955-1958, and dedicated in 1957.

Here is a terrific series of both black and white and color photos of the campus under construction.

College of the Holy Names New Campus Construction

College of the Holy Names Chapel under construction, July 1957

College of the Holy Names chapel under construction, July 1957

College of the Holy Names chapel under construction, July 1957

College of the Holy Names Library and Brennan Hall under construction, July 1957

College of the Holy Names, July 1957

Here are Sister Rita and Sister Emily, framing the bell tower, stand on the hill looking over campus and the Bay Area beyond with the fog rolling in.

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Unicef — Off to help the world’s children

College of the Holy Names Unicef collection.

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Out With the Old, In With the New

Alumni and Sisters present a plaque to Mr. Henry Kaiser, 1957

In 1957 the entire college moved from Lake Merritt to the new campus on Mountain Boulevard. The old property was sold to Henry Kaiser, its buildings demolished to make way for the Kaiser Building. Above, some alumni and SNJM Sisters present a commemorative plaque proclaiming the Kaiser Building as the “Former Site of the College of the Holy Names, 1868-1957” to A. B. Ordway, Kaiser’s right hand man, and the namesake of the building. You can still see the plaque in the building today.

Sisters in front of the moving van, ready to relocate the College from Lake Merritt to the new campus

Demolition of the College of the Holy Names campus to make way for the Kaiser building, 1957

College of the Holy Names Grounds Blessing

Above, the Blessing of the Grounds for the future College of the Holy Names site in the Oakland hills.

Next week, we’ll post a terrific series of photos of the new campus under construction. Happy New Year to the entire Holy Names University community, as well as to all our Oakland neighbors!

Update: February 13: This post has been edited to reflect a correction noted by Lincoln Cushing, Digital Archivist – Communications Consultant, Kaiser Permanente Heritage Resources. Thank you Mr. Cushing!

I believe the gentleman offering the plaque is A.B. Ordway, Henry J. Kaiser’s right hand man and the namesake of our building (opened 1971, next to the Kaiser Building).

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College of the Holy Names musical group

College of the Holy Names music group

College of the Holy Names music group pose in festive formal gowns, with trumpet and violin.

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Merry Christmas from Holy Names University

Students planting a tree

College of the Holy Names students and a Sister look on as a priest blesses a tree they are planting (we think! — let us know if you know more about this photo in the comments).

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Holy Names College coeds

Holy Names College students

In 1971, the College name changed to Holy Names College and became totally co-educational.

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Milton T. Pflueger, College of the Holy Names architect

New College of the Holy Names Campus Photo 1

You might not recognize the name, but if you live in the Bay Area, you are likely familiar with the work of College of the Holy Names architect Milton T. Pflueger.

Younger brother of colorful architect Timothy Pflueger, Milton Pflueger’s contribution to the cityscape of prominent Bay Area public buildings includes the cross-shaped, fourteen-story Joseph M. Long-Moffitt Hospital at UCSF, the University of San Francisco Library, campus buildings at University of San Francisco and City College of San Francisco, city buildings such as Old City Hall in Modesto, and Cowell Hall at the California Academy of Sciences.

Pflueger collaborated with Theodore Bernardi in designing downtown Oakland’s Paramount Theatre facade and other details (Timothy Pflueger had designed the building itself).

Milton T. Pflueger, A.I.A., Timothy Pflueger’s brother, worked with Theodore Bernardi in designing work, including human and animal figures for the facade mosaic, and interior details. He also assisted Bernardi in directing the work of other artists. He joined Miller and Pflueger in 1929 and upon his brother’s death in 1946 became head of the firm, then Timothy L. Pflueger and Associates. Milton Pflueger continues to head the firm, now Milton T. Pflueger and Associates, and was a consultant to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill during the restoration of the theatre in 1973. [The Paramount Theatre]

In the mid-fifties, Milton T. Pflueger and Associates was hired by the College of the Holy Names to design the new campus on Mountain Boulevard. Pflueger wrote fondly about the College of the Holy Names project in his book, Time and Tim Remembered (Pflueger Architects, June 1986, ISBN-10: 0961413301), noting his interaction with the sisters and the unique design challenge of envisioning an entire hillside campus, rather than the more common job of designing a singular building to fit into an existing campus.

San Francisco Bay Area architect Milton T. Pflueger, younger brother of the renowned architect Timothy L. Pflueger, designed the mid-century modern campus buildings, which were constructed from 1955-1958, and dedicated in 1957. Milton Pflueger designed many campus buildings at Cal Berkeley [sic.] and Stanford University, but Holy Names is the only complete campus he designed. The first buildings constructed included the Academic facilities, the Student Center, housing, Gymnasium and pool, and McLean Chapel. The hillside location inspired a linear plan, with low-roofed buildings nestled along the slope. The site features panoramic views across the San Francisco Bay from San Jose on the San Francisco Peninsula to Mount Tamalpais on the Marin Peninsula. [source: Wikipedia]

Mr. Pflueger left the University a wonderful album of his own 8×10 photos of the newly constructed campus, that we’ll post here as we scan them. We’ll leave you with one more for now, a view of campus taken around 1957.

New College of the Holy Names Campus Photo 2

Update, February 13: This article has been updated to reflect comments by John Pflueger, architect and Pflueger’s son. He notes:

wonderful article. couple of comments. We did not do any campus buildings at UC Berkely but did all buildings until 1990 at both the University of San Francisco and City College of SanFrancisco. I joined my father in 1963, the firm became Pflueger Architects in 1976, a partnership of my father and myself, and became John Pflueger Architect in 1990 I participated as project architect on additions to your campus and completed several builldings at Stanford as well as the Clark library at San Jose State University.
Thank you. Please feel free to contact me for more information.
John Pflueger Architect

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