End is near for Cal Poly Pomona’s futuristic CLA tower – Daily Bulletin

I was driving the 10 freeway down Kellogg Hill on Saturday when something became noticeable to me about her absence. Cal Poly Pomona’s CLA Building can no longer be seen.

The tower was coming down, I knew it. It was in all the papers. My colleague Javier Rojas wrote the news version in April. My counterpart at our San Gabriel Valley newspapers, Larry Wilson, opinion on it in June.

That’s not to say I was quite prepared for CLA—short for Classroom, Laboratory, and Administration—not to be there. The eight-story obelisk has been visible from the 10 and 57 freeways since its opening in 1993.

You’ve probably noticed. The CLA was a tower clad in limestone with a sloping roof, and then an open pyramid on top of it, reaching towards the heavens. “Vaguely menacing,” Larry rightly called it, and various films and commercial shoots benefited from its somewhat creepy vibe.

Anyway, it’s not like I’m looking for the spire. Sometimes it caught my eye, sometimes it slipped by me. Something this time made me look.

I went out to campus on Sunday. There was practically no one around, so I like it. And there is no need to pay for parking.

The CLA building was in the middle of deconstruction, like the Death Star in reverse, and significantly shorter than before. All the lower floors were standing, but the top floors had been torn away.

The pointed building had lost its point. Oh, the humanity.

In a practical sense, the CLA had missed its point years ago. Although it was a modern landmark, the $24 million tower was plagued by structural and mechanical problems. The university sued and won a $13 million settlement against the contractor.

If that wasn’t enough, the CLA was found to be built on top of – oops – an active earthquake fault.

or Poly Post title from 2018 says it all: “Doomed from the Start: The CLA Building.”

All were cleared in 2018. The tower has remained empty since then. CLA may be an acronym for “Cursed, Beloved, Abandoned.” But au lover? If so, it seems to have been long overdue. Few students around today had ever been inside.

I was inside several times. It was a normal university environment, unrepeatable. All I remember is that the windows were many but small. You would think the building would have made more of an impression. Maybe the aliens erased my other memories.

In the CLA’s first decade, Hollywood trained its cameras on the unusual exterior.

“It’s been a visually unique part of campus for years,” reflects Charles Bentley, a former Cal Poly spokesman who worked at CLA from 1999-2003, “and during its time it attracted quite a few location managers from film, TV, advertising . and print ads.”

Three science fiction thrillers, “Gattaca” (1997), “The Impostor” (2001) and NBC’s version of “Brave New World” (1998), used the tower as a backdrop for their dystopian futures. Poly Post adds another to the list: 1993’s “Reverse Heaven,” which later received the less subtle title “Heaven and Hell.” I don’t know which country CLA played, but I can guess.

Note how old those loans are. These days I think they just CGI these things. No need for sharp buildings out in nature.

The CLA may have been vaguely menacing, but take a loadout like this: Architect Antoine Predock went on to design San Diego’s Petco Park, the Padres’ ultra-charming ballpark. The guy has range.

I last saw CLA in December on a campus visit. As an avid stair climber, I couldn’t resist climbing up and down the 30 outdoor stairs a few times just for the exercise, knowing it was likely the last time I’d ever get the chance.

With the CLA deemed unsalvageable, the state eventually ponyed up the cash for the demolition, which is what’s happening now. The interior was demolished in May, and the rest of the structure must be gone before students can return.

What will replace it? Green space. That will join him Japanese garden that has been there all along that I wasn’t even aware of. Pains are being taken to protect it during the breakdown.

A garden sounds nice. Beat the salt of the earth to remove the curse of CLA.

Nearby is the university’s student services building, 2019 replacement for CLA functions. It has a triangular shape, a corrugated roof (the building’s nickname is “The Pringle”) and a tunnel-like atrium between the two wings.

End is near for Cal Poly Pomona’s futuristic CLA tower – Daily Bulletin Source link End is near for Cal Poly Pomona’s futuristic CLA tower – Daily Bulletin

Related Articles

Back to top button