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History of CSULB Campus

In September 1949, known then as Los Angeles-Orange County State College was founded by Governor Earl Warren. That first year, 169 students were enrolled for the first semester with thirteen full-time faculty. Classes convened in a converted apartment building at 5401 E. Anaheim. Classes were offered to junior and senior classmen consisting mostly of women and veterans, with emphasis on Teacher Education, Business Education, and the Liberal Arts.

In June of 1950, The City of Long Beach authorized the City Council to purchase a 320 acre tract of land. It was deeded to the State to be the future home of the new college,renamed to Long Beach State College (LBSC). Classes convened on the new campus in temporary buildings. In January 1955 the first permanent buildings were occupied after two years of the construction in progress, and in 1958, the first dormitories were completed, changing the campus from only being a "commuter campus" to a resident college.

The architecture of the campus is mostly of the International Style. Architect, Edward Killingsworth served as the master planner and architect for over forty years,shaping the campus. His plan called for unified buildings with red brick,exposed concrete, curtain walls and ribbon windows — a theme that remains largely intact today. His vision was laid out in the 1962 master plan, which continues to guide campus development. During the 1960's new buildings were constructed, including the Engineering Building, Physical Education Building, Administration Building, and Art Building were completed. Landscape architect Ed Lovell worked with Killingsworth to create CSULB's park-like feel and integrate the buildings into a lush, yet controlled landscape. In 1964, LBSC changed its name to California State College at Long Beach.

The 1970's saw great expansion of the campus buildings, including a new campus library (1972), which at its time was the largest library facility in the then 19-campus CSU system.The Student Union, which opened in 1976 is located at the center of campus. The three-story glass building occupies roughly 180,000 square feet, housing numerous offices, and offering more casual attractions, including a study lounge, a ballroom, a food court, a bowling alley, an arcade, and a movie theater. The CSU Board of Trustees elevated the school to university status in 1972, and CSCLB became California State University, Long Beach, or CSULB.

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden was dedicated in 1981. Encompassing over one-acre on the campus, Ed Lovell traveled to Japan and took inspiration from the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo.The Walter Pyramid,constructed in 1994, has become a nationally recognized icon for the university and the city of Long Beach.Rising 18-stories above the Long Beach skyline, the structure's distinctive cobalt blue exterior has permanently altered the city's skyline and can be seen for miles in all directions. Each side of the perimeter of Walter Pyramid measures 345 feet, making it a mathematically true pyramid, one of four true pyramids in the United States (others are located in Las Vegas, San Diego and Memphis).

With the new century came new signature buildings on the campus, such as Brotman Hall and the Molecular and Life Science Center, and the Hall of Science. In recent years, a new Student Recreation and Wellness Center has opened, along with the Student Success Center and the Bob Murphy Access Center.

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