Malott Commons and Seal Court: Then and Now

By Sarah Stringer ’12, Contributing Writer

One day last week, three people in a row happened to talk to me about the difference in the campus before and after the Malott Commons opened.

One, an alumna talking about her days living in the Scripps dorms, mentioned that the dining hall tables now in Malott were the ones that used to be in the dorms.

Another alumna, who talked about working on “desk duty”—a requirement for all students during her years at Scripps, during which time the desk attendant checked in visitors and operated dorm switchboards—mentioned being able to dine right next to her room when she was a student.

Julie Elliott, who began working for the College about one year before Malott Commons opened, said she was there to witness what was one of the major shifts in campus life.

Dining in dorms, having mail delivered to your hall, having another student greet you when you walked into the dorm...Life at the College was much different before Malott Commons.

Having been confronted so many times in one day with examples of just how different this pre-Malott life was, I decided to investigate matters and see what the Malott Commons area was like before and after Feb. 14, 2000, when it first opened its doors to students.

All photos are courtesy of the Claremont Colleges Photo Archive on the Claremont Colleges Digital Library database.

Malott Commons

Opened Feb. 14, 2000

Where did students eat before? In the dorms! Each dorm had its own dining room and kitch- en.

Fun fact: The tables in Malott are the same ones used in several of the dorm dining halls.

The Motley

Officially opened in 1974

Where was it before? Started in Balch Hall, moved to the basement of then Lang Art Building (now Malott Commons), then to the Frankel-Routt complex, and then back to Seal Court.

Fun Facts about Seal Court

The Florence Rand Lang Art Building housed the art department for 50 years before Malott Com- mons opened. The art department is now on 12th and Dartmouth, in a building given the same name.

The services in Seal Court (Motley, mail room, etc...) all used to be art studios. The bathrooms near Seal Court used to be the pottery kiln. Students created the mosaics around the pond in Seal Court, starting in 1940s. Paul Soldner recast the seals in bronze in 1990.

The Mail Room

Where did students get their mail before? Students used to get their mail delivered to the mail- boxes in their dorms.

Fun fact: At one time, each student was required to put in hours working at the front desk, checking people into and out of the dorms and working a dorm switchboard. There was someone at the front desk 24/7.