California State University, Fullerton

George G. Golleher Alumni House History

The Early Days

Aerial view of old campus fields

On the original site, when the CSUF campus was only a vision beyond the sea of orange groves, there were four historic homes still on the property. Two were the Beazeley Family's private home and barn located along Yorba Linda Blvd. The house was used as the campus' first Speech and Hearing Clinic and both were torn down in the 1960s. Another historic home is located in CSUF's arboretum. Known as the Heritage House, it was originally built 1894 and owned by Dr. George Clark of Fullerton. As part of a preservation effort, it was relocated to its present site in 1972.

The two original buildings that remain are the Hetebrink House and the Mahr House. Now known respectively, as the Titan House and the Golleher Alumni House, their presence on campus, amid the more modern and functional structures, links the university with the cultural, agricultural and architectural growth of Orange County.

From "Mouse House" to Titan House

House History

Over the course of the early years of the school the Henry Hetebrink house was used for offices and classrooms. Into the early 1960s, the basement was used as a science lab earning the building the popular name, "the mouse house." Originally, however it housed a family of six; Henry Hetebrink, his wife Rebecca and their first four children lived at this site in the early 1880s.

Prussian immigrants, the Hetebrinks settled first in northern California then moved to the Anaheim area to make a home near the new German community. Henry Hetebrink was a dairy farmer, one of the few in the region. In 1874, on his 160-acres, he built a home for his family. Ten years later that house was destroyed by fire. Perhaps with this accident in mind, Hetebrink rebuilt his home in 1886 using brick. The use of brick and the additional feature of a full basement made the house unique for the era.

Titan House

Although the home is loosely described as colonial revivalist, its features report a more undistinguished, functional style. With exception of the addition of the enclosed front porch, the exterior of the home is largely unchanged. The Henry Hetebrink house is known today as the Titan House and it is presently used for administrative offices by CSUF's Athletic department.

A Wedding Gift

The Hetebrink family reached across the county and into the future decades. In 1928 Henry Hetebrink, a son of Henry and Rebecca Hetebrink built a house for one of his daughters, as a wedding gift, on a different section of the family's land. The wedding never took place. Lotte Hetebrink never had the chance to live in this Spanish revival-style home, and the property was lost in the early years of the Great Depression. The Mahr family purchased the residence, completed it in 1931, and held it until the late 1950s when the State of California purchased it for the CSUF campus.

The Mahr House was the university's second administration building, used in the spring of 1960. Before that, the administration occupied a condemned Fullerton High School building. President Langsdorf and other university administrators occupied upstairs bedrooms-turned-offices while faculty squeezed into a room on the first floor. The large eating area at the north wing was built in the late 1960s as a faculty club. Unfortunately the renovation compromised the building's historic integrity and, adding insult to injury, due to its distance from campus, the faculty club never caught on.

Alumni House

Alumni House

Today, under a new name, this building provides an attractive and useful venue for CSUF's Alumni Association. Alumni Relations moved into the house in the 1990s. In 1996, the Alumni House became the George G. Golleher Alumni House in honor of the 1971 graduate who is a generous sponsor for the historic building's renovations.

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