Former president residence will be renovated



The Albert E. Warrens Reception Center has been a part of Chico for nearly 100 years. Photo credit: Yang Dai

The Albert E. Warrens Reception Center will have tremendous renovations starting May 23, and there is a question from the Chico community whether there should be changes to the center.

The renovations taking place at the center include the replacement of the exterior fence, improvement of the greenbelt environment and removal of an indoor elevator.

The main body of the building is a white Mediterranean style, which was designed and built by California’s first female architect, Julia Morgan, in 1923. From 1945 to 1993, the building was used as the residence of successive presidents of Chico State. In 1999, its name was changed to the Albert E. Warrens Reception Center.

Despite a history of 93 years in Chico, the Albert E. Warrens Reception Center is now facing the dilemma whether it should be renovated or protected. Large-scale renovation is bound to affect the historical value of this building to a certain extent.

Michael Magliari, a professor of history at Chico State, expressed his concern about the building after renovation. “First of all, I think this is a very spectacular building and has a very high historical value for Chico. Any blind repair and alteration will lead to destruction of this kind of historical value.”

“If necessary repairs and replacement are needed, I hope that the renovated building style will be in line with its original style,” Magliari added.

Jose Rodriguez, a resident around Mansion Avenue, expressed his support for major repairs to the building. “Renovation does not mean a destruction of buildings. It is the due value of a building that it works properly through being renovated.”

Chico State recently held an explanation session about the redevelopment of the Albert E. Warrens Reception Center.

Yang Dai can be reached at [email protected] or @YangDaiVip on Twitter.