Bovard photo

Only months after the George Finley Bovard Administration Building was dedicated at USC in June 1921, President Warren G. Harding signed a Congressional resolution officially ending the U.S. war against Germany, Austria and Hungary. With World War I in the past, the nation’s economy and culture would burst to life in the Roaring Twenties.

Bovard’s construction was surely a sign of the growth to come on the University Park Campus. Created at a cost of $620,000 (the equivalent of more than $7.5 million today), the Italian Romanesque Revival structure housed administration officers, classrooms and an auditorium and was capped with a clock tower—as yet unfinished in this photograph from the early 1920s.

Its designer was a prolific Los Angeles architect: England-born John Parkinson, who was also the mastermind behind the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles City Hall and the city’s Union Station. Architectural details include a tower with eight stone figures designed by artist Casper Gruenfeld that represent the progress of civilization.

Today, Bovard Administration Building houses USC’s president, provost and other top administrators who focus on the university’s future, but the structure remains recognized for its important past. The Los Angeles City Council granted the building historic status in 2014.


Watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes video of how the past and present collide at Bovard.

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