January 28, 2009 Press Release
Whittier College has decided to withdraw its request from the City of Whittier to demolish Gilford Hall, a 100-year old building that had served as a mailroom for more than 40 years. Razing the building would allow the college to make additional parking for the Campus Center. Members of the Whittier Conservancy had opposed demolition and asked the City to designate it a historic landmark. The building has not been declared as such.
The following is a statement by President Sharon Herzberger:
"All along, our goal has been to be the best stewards of College resources and to make sure that we are directing those resources to benefit Whittier's students and faculty. And we are fully confident that at the conclusion of this process we would secure the right to handle our property as we see fit. However, we perceive that the projected financial burden to achieve this aim is money better spent in good stewardship of our educational mission. Particularly in these tough economic times, we must focus our attention on the many more critical needs for funding on our campus — financial aid, faculty support, and renovation of the College's truly historic structures. Therefore, we have chosen to withdraw our request from the City at this time.
"We do remain heartened by the outpouring of support received from city residents, business owners, and local friends and alumni of the College. Additionally, our offer to give the structure gratis to those who would relocate it from campus grounds still stands."