Readers comments 7-3-15

Museum misunderstandings

Dear Editor:

As a longtime Claremont resident and a graduate of the Claremont Colleges, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge David Shearer’s very thoughtful article clarifying Claremont Heritage’s position on Pomona College’s proposed Museum of Art.

I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love to see Pomona College build a gorgeous, state-of-the-art museum. The new facility, as it’s been described, will undoubtedly serve as an invaluable resource for both the Colleges and the Claremont community. 

But a beautiful structure capable of showcasing art from LACMA, MOMA and other prestigious collections throughout the country will also attract visitors from Los Angeles, Pasadena and other surrounding communities. I love the idea of putting Claremont on the map in this way, but placing the new museum on the corner of Bonita and College Avenue will surely exacerbate what has already become an untenable parking situation in the Village. I believe the college is significantly underestimating this potential.

Pomona College is currently proposing to move the Renwick House next to Kenyon House on First Street to make way for the museum at the corner of Bonita and College. I sincerely hope the city will insist on a different plan.

As stated in Mr. Shearer’s article, if Pomona College is prepared to move a historical home, why not tear down the cottages on College Avenue, move the Kenyon House to that location and then build the 30,000-square-foot museum on First Street? The new museum would then be situated steps away from the college’s new studio art building, dance facilities, beautiful new parking structure, the Metrolink station and eventual stop for the Gold Line. There may be a compelling reason why this is not possible, but the college should be pressed to explain why this is not an option.

Moving Kenyon next to Renwick and placing the museum on First Street seems like the ultimate win-win. We all benefit from a fabulous museum accessible to visitors arriving on foot, by rail and by car, while moving the Kenyon House to College Avenue enhances the residential “Victorian row” that helps define our city.

There seems to be a perception among Pomona College officials that the city’s opposition to their proposal is solely the result of miscommunication and rumor mongering, or that residents are simply complaining just for the sake of complaining (yes, I understand this has been said aloud at several college meetings).

I hope David Shearer and his colleagues will continue to try to convince the college that this is not the case, that our point of view is thoughtful and well-considered, and that the college should demonstrate more understanding and flexibility as it moves forward with its plans.

Rhonda Jackson



Claremont Friends welcome

Dear Editor:

Claremont Monthly Meeting (Quakers) welcomes the Supreme Court decision ruling that there be equal rights for marriage of people in the LGBT community.

In November 2009, in keeping with our testimony on equality, we declared that we would not carry through the “legal” offices for any marriage under the care of the Meeting until there was state/national recognition that marriage be an equal right to all. This court action directs our Meeting to lift the policy. We do so with great pleasure.

Pat Smith



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