Old Administration Building

History

“Fresno City College and all the opportunities it affords have made it possible to influence not only the students but the community in many ways; this Capital Campaign is our opportunity to contribute to the ongoing program from which we have benefited.”

— Don Larson
Retired Professor

The historic Old Administration Building holds a position of unique historical and architectural significance. Completed in 1916, the Spanish Renaissance building was the first permanent structure on the Fresno State Normal School campus, which later became Fresno State College. It symbolized the founding of public facilities for higher education in the San Joaquin Valley. The building has also housed Fresno City College, California’s first community college.

The OAB was used by Fresno State Normal School until 1921 when Fresno Junior College relocated to the site and the two institutions shared the campus. In 1948, Fresno Junior College moved to another location. By then, the Fresno State Normal School had changed its name to Fresno State College and remained in the OAB until 1956 when the school moved to its current site in the northeast part of the city. Fresno Junior College, which later became Fresno City College, purchased the campus, and from 1956 to mid-1976, the OAB housed classrooms and administrative offices for the community college. In 1956 California State University, Fresno moved to its current site.

During its history, the OAB provided an idyllic setting where students attended lectures, listened to concerts in the courtyards while sitting in the shade of the arched walkways. They watched plays, musicians and dancers in the large performing auditorium. In the classrooms, halls and shadows of the OAB, generations of Valley residents established life long relationships and memories.

The historical value of the OAB is not only important to those who live in Fresno and work at Fresno City College, it is also important to those who study architecture and history. In 1974, the OAB was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the California historical register as well.

1916
1921
1956
1974
2002
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OAB Completed and used by Fresno State Normal School
Fresno Junior College moved to the OAB sharing the campus with Fresno State Normal School
Fresno Junior College Purchases the OAB
OAB became listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Measure E passed insuring the preservation of the OAB