Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Signs of the times

No. 5. Masons build the foundation for the permanent sign that
will announce Mount Saint Mary's University.
COMING AND GOING FROM CHALON this last week of summer vacation, we've watched a new entrance sign gradually take shape By our count, the new one will be sign No. 5 since 1932. Here's a pictorial look back on how we welcomed visitors to the Mount from Chalon Road.

No. 1. The rustic 1932 edition that became a beehive.

The first sign was erected in 1932 over the entrance road (still technically known on maps as the Mount Saint Mary's Fire Road). Made of redwood, it stood for almost 25 years until a colony of honeybees took up residence in one of the hollow uprights.

Incidentally, the entrance road was unpaved in the early 1930s and subject to frequent washouts in torrential rains that occasionally hit the mountains, like the tropical storm that landed in early October of 1932. The road was eventually paved with funds donated by Countess Estelle Doheny.

No. 2. Added in 1956, this is fork in the road that marks the routes
to the Mount and the newly finished CSJ House of Studies.
In 1955, amid an explosion in religious vocations, the Los Angeles Province of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet built what is now known as Carondelet Center. The House of Studies was essentially a junior college for hundreds of young sisters, who received some coursework and all of their religious formation to complement what they were getting as Mount students up the hill. The new sign went up at what was now a fork in the entrance road.

The single sign became two at some later time, possibly in the 1980s when the Mount and CSJ Los Angeles Province subdivided ownership the Chalon property into two separate parcels, the College and Carondelet Center.

That sign was covered over with a new temporary plastic edition in January of this year when the Mount announced formal university status.

Nos. 3 and 4. A temporary sign covers the 1980s MSMC
sign and heralds university status as of January 1, 2015.
The entering Class of 2019 will be welcomed with the new, official university sign, But more to the point, it will remain a sign for everyone who climbs our mountain in Brentwood of our 90 years of {Unstoppable} history.