With the rugged backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains, the City of La Verne provides residents and visitors a glimpse of the past in the midst of contemporary living.
La Verne was founded in 1887 by Los Angeles businessman Issac Lord as a railroad boom town to capture Midwesterners enticed by fierce competition between the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads. The grand 60 room Lordsburg hotel was built but never had a paying guest. See CITY HISTORY.
When the boom busted in 1889, M. M. Eshelman, a member of the Brethren Church, was instrumental in bringing an influx of Brethren people to the area so their youth could attend college in the now transformed hotel. In 1891 Lordsburg College was established; today that institution is the well respected University of La Verne, home to 6806 full time equivalent students as of 2006. See ULV Homepage http://www.ulv.edu.
Lined by towering Deodar trees (Cedrus deodara), Third Street epitomizes the architecture of early La Verne.
The heart of Lordsburg (Old Town La Verne) is home to a wide variety of businesses along "D" Street.
Mainiero Square, at the southwest corner of "D" and Third Street, is a pocket park that leads to the eastern edge of the University of La Verne campus. Mainiero
Square was rededicated in the spring of 1995, after extensive redesign and landscaping.
Queen Anne condominiums at Bonita and E Street combine features from buildings within a two-mile radius, making the project characteristic of the Lordsburg area.
Cafe Allegro provides sidewalk dining on Third Street, just east of "D" Street. The popular Italian cuisine allures diners for lunch and dinner.
The imposing tower of The Brethren Church on "E" Street, exemplifies Gothic Moderne architecture.
The historic Carrion adobe was built in 1868 for Saturnino Carrion on 380 acres. The parcel was part of the enormous Rancho San Jose land grant held by Carrion's uncle Ygnacio Palomares and his partner Ricardo Vejar. Today, the adobe sits on 2.13 acres just north of Brackett Airfield and Puddingstone Reservoir.
The L-shaped dwelling was is believed to have been designed by an Italian architect. Timbers for the building were hauled from Los Angeles by carretas (carts) and horseback. The beams, joints and walls were white washed. The original windows were unglazed and screened with vertical wooden bards and wooden shutters.
Carrion lost his property in 1909 after mortgaging it to fight the creation of the Puddingstone Reservoir on his land. The neglected property was identified in the 1937 Historic American Buildings Survey as: "Present condition: Very poor and neglected, used as a chicken corral and grain storage." La Casa de Carrion has been designated as California Registered Landmark 386.
Successive owners revived the house gradually adding electricity and a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom wing. Today the home is privately owned. The current owners are in the process of restoring the property with historic authenticity.
GREEN SPACES AND RECREATIONAL PLACES
La Verne is home to 19 parks, which provide a variety of recreation and leisure activity.
The newly constructed Sports Park sited at "D" Street and Durward Way borders Bonita High School. This million-dollar complex features four multipurpose fields for soccer and other sports, two baseball diamonds, an all-weather track, and lighted tennis courts.
Heritage Park is situated in the northern sector of the City at Via de Mansion and Wheeler Avenue. Each spring, residents and visitors have an opportunity to pick oranges in the midst of the City's agriculture and citrus park and museum.
Sierra La Verne Country Club and Golf Course occupies 111 acres in north La Verne. This private enterprise provides golf in an attractive foothill setting and offers local organizations to host golf tournaments. The banquet facilities are available for rent for parties and weddings.
Marshall Canyon Golf, equestrian, hiking and bike trails all provide additional opportunities to experience outdoor life in La Verne.
La Verne's City Hall and Community Center are located at "D" Street just south of Foothill Boulevard.
City Hall demonstrates adaptive reuse of a former convalescent hospital's administrative offices. Since 1977 the building has functioned as home to city employees. The fire and police departments are located on Third Street just west of "D" Street in Lordsburg.
The Community Center was constructed in 1989. The facility contains multipurpose rooms for community classes ranging from dance and exercise to martial arts and weight control. The facility also has a large centralized meeting room and commercial-sized kitchen.
The center provides lunch Monday through Friday for seniors over 60 and their spouses (regardless of age). Reservations are required and a $1.50 donation is suggested.
The La Verne branch of the Los Angeles County Library system is located next to the Community Center. The library is currently open Monday through Saturday. Please call 909-596-1934 for specific operating hours.
Art in Public Places is a burgeoning program in the City, with murals located in eight locations. A newly uncovered WPA mural circa 1939 was discovered at Damien High School. Historic La Verne is depicted by artist Frank Matranga at the Bagelry at 2095 Foothill Boulevard.
Foothill Boulevard, part of Historic Route 66, is the major east-west corridor linking La Verne to the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles to the west and the Inland Empire to the east.
This commercial corridor is home to multiple shopping centers which include restaurants, a major cineplex, national retailers and hometown merchants.
Paper Pak Products, a manufacturer of recycled paper products for hospital and institutional use, is one of La Verne's major private employers. Originally occupying a former citrus packing house, Paper Pak outgrew its facility in 1992 and faced the choice of leaving La Verne or demolishing the unreinforced masonry buildings damaged from two earthquakes. Paper Pak worked with the City to develop a one-of-a-kind oral history program documenting the La Verne's participation in the 70 years of citriculture in Southern California's citrus belt. This project helped to establish a link with the facilities historic past prior to demolition and construction of the new plant.
The newly constructed buildings feature two public art commissions: a full color citrus crate mural from labels once packaged at the site and a bas relief citrus component visible to passersby on the adjoining Metrolink commuter line. The project was an award winner in 1995 from the Los Angeles Section of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.
SAN POLO BUSINESS PARK
San Polo Business Park is a 100 acre master planned development. Situated at the northern edge of Brackett Airfield, the park has easy access to the San Bernardino (10), Orange (57), and Foothill (210) freeways; it is approximately 15 minutes from Ontario International Airport. The park offers finished lots for sale, industrial buildings for sale or lease and build to suit opportunities. Several corporations currently occupy the business park including Mitsuba, Markwins, International and Mitake Trading. See ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.