» Campus Buildings and History

Historic photographs of Chapman University's seven oldest buildings.

1904 - Wilkinson Hall (Orange Union High School)

Wilkinson Hall constructed in 1905 is the oldest building on the Chapman University campus. It was designed by local architect, C.B. Bradshaw. Wilkinson Hall was originally built facing Glassell Street in what is now the Burt Williams Mall in between Smith Hall (1913) and Reeves Hall (1913). It was moved to its present location prior to 1921. Wilkinson Hall is named to honor J.E. Wilkinson, a former trustee, chairman of the board, and acting president.

1913 - Reeves Hall (Education/Arts Building - Orange Union High School)

Reeves Hall was completed in 1913. It is named in honor of George N. Reeves, president of the university from 1942 to 1956. It is listed in the National Register of Historical Places. It was designed by Santa Ana architect Frank Eley.

1913 Smith Hall (Science Building - Orange Union High School)

Smith Hall was completed in 1913. It was designed by Santa Ana architect Frank Eley. Originally Smith Hall was the Science Building for Orange Union High School. In 1988 it was named in honor of former president G.T. "Buck" Smith and his wife, Joni. Buck Smith served as president of the university from 1977 to 1988. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1914 Kennedy Hall Facade (Orange Intermediate School, preserved facade)

The building served as the Orange Intermediate School from when it was built in 1914 to 1958. In 1958, the building was reused as the Orange Unified School District administrative headquarters from 1958 until 1992 and could be architecturally distinguished by a decorative entrance, styled after a 4th century Northern Italian church. The building was purchased by Chapman University in 1996. Kennedy Hall was built to incorporate the iconic facade. The architect was J. Flood Walker of Santa Ana. The facade is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1918 Villa Park Orchards Packing Plant (Santiago Orange Growers Association Packing House)

The Santiago Orange Growers Association Packing House is one of the earliest surviving industrial facilities in the Old Towne Orange Historic District. It was used for the receipt, packing, and shipping of locally raised agricultural products. In 1967, the Villa Park Orchards Association took over the building to accommodate its expanding operations. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1921 Memorial Hall (Orange Union High School)

Memorial Hall was built in 1921 with a small addition built in 1926. The Chapman auditorium within Memorial Hall at 1,000 seats was the largest auditorium in Orange County from the time of its construction to at least 1974 when the building was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. When Chapman College (now Chapman University) moved to occupy the former Orange Union High School site in 1954, it became the first four-year university in Orange County.

1922 Digital Media Arts Classrooms (California Wire & Cable Company Building)

In 1921, the California Wire Company began to manufacture weather-proof wire for electric and power companies at this site. Demand grew so quickly that after only four months, the company needed to expand its manufacturing space.  The Austin Company of Los Angles was contracted to construct the existing building that was completed in 1922. The California Wire Company then became Anaconda Wire Company in 1930. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chapman University is a long-standing member of the following historic preservation organizations: