|Seniors bide their time on the Porch of Coe Library before the start|
of Commencement exercises at Chalon, undated photo from 1950s.
|The Porch today is a quiet study area.|
You'd never know that you're looking at what was once a ballroom designed for elegant parties. It was our own founder, Mother Margaret Mary Brady, CSJ, who suggested the inclusion of a "social hall" when the plans for the new Charles Willard Coe Memorial Library were drawn up in 1945.
Perhaps Mother Margaret Mary knew that her students' boyfriends and fiancés would soon be returning home from World War II and would be ready to start living a normal life again. In those days, too, Loyola University (decades before Marymount came along) was considered the Mount's "brother school," and there were regular mixers and galas at local hotel ballrooms and social clubs that included dancing to the fabulous Big Band music of the 1940s.
|Mount girls at the Senior Prom with their boyfriends, |
most in uniform, during the closing days of World War II.
This 1945 event was held at a local social club.
Sadly, the only "souvenir" of that gracious space is the Porch study area of today. When the library was renovated in 1995 the colonnade was enclosed and carpeted. The book stacks stop at the load-bearing wall because the architecture of the porch wasn't strong enough to support them.
|Mother Margaret Mary Brady|
But if you use your imagination, there is still the ocean view. Sit at one of the last two tables on the south end of the Porch on a clear day and you can see the Pacific Ocean sparkling beyond Santa Monica. Imagine yourself all dressed up in a formal or tuxedo, ready to show off your waltz or fox trot on the gleaming maple floor.