History Worth Knowing: Secrets & Facts about 4 Beautiful UCLA Buildings

“Welcome to UCLA! My name is Sophia, and I am a first year studying Political Science. I will be your tour guide today and….”

Seeing tours around campus, I am reminded to step out of my bubble of studying and simply enjoy the pleasures of being in college. We, as UCLA students, are so lucky to have such a beautiful campus! Let’s admit it though, not ALL architecture at UCLA is completely awe inspiring, yet it still evokes something within us—whether the dread of going to discussion or the excitement of seeing friends. Knowing the history of campus can further lend us a better understanding and appreciation for our school. So here we go: Campus Tour 2.0. The better version! 

1. Royce Hall 

Inspiring and picturesque. Replicating the 12th century Romanesque style of Southern Italy, Royce is one of four buildings completed by the architect David Allison in 1929. It is named after the famed philosopher and American historian, Josiah Royce. Royce, however, never actually attended UCLA! Since 1937, Royce Hall has featured talented political speakers and musicians alike. Famous performers include: Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein, John F Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Angela Davis. Upcoming performances for 2019 include shows sponsored by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles ballet. 

2. Mathematical Sciences Building

South campus oriented and mundane. Invoking 1950s minimalism, the Mathematical Sciences building is one of many South campus buildings featuring economically sound construction that differs greatly from the Mediterranean feel of the original four buildings. The building does have some pizazz to it, however, with a beautiful tiled mosaic and an 8th floor Planetarium! Public shows are free and tickets are not required. Before you graduate, watching a showing here is a definite must! 

3. Neuroscience and Genetics Research Building

An urban research facility. Built over a loading area for trucks in 1998, the Gonda (Goldschmied) Neuroscience and Genetic Research building was made possible by a $45 million donation to UCLA. The benefactors, Leslie and Susan Gonda, are both survivors of World War 2 internment camps. Following the Holocaust, Leslie made his fortune co-founding the International Lease Finance Corporation—one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies. The building is home to both the UCLA Brain Research Institute and the department of Human Genetics. 

4. The Law School 

A top tier program. UCLA School of Law is one of twelve professional schools on campus. Revitalizing the original brick and limestone aesthetic of Royce, Haines, Kaplan and Powell, UCLA Law is home to approximately 950 students. Interesting clinics include those concerning: Documentary Film, the Music Industry, Veterans Justice and the Supreme Court. The law school is the leader in number of alumni who are now judges for the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. 

All buildings on campus contribute to UCLA’s collective history as an amazing college campus. Each building has its own unique history and story to tell—including many not covered in this article. Explore and be continuously curious about both the history and opportunities provided by UCLA’s campus and the greater Los Angeles area. Knowledge is where fun can be found!