Honoring Architectural Legacy: Claud Beelman Recieves an Honorary Degree

Last year, Woodbury University proudly issued an honorary degree to Claud Beelman, a trailblazing architect whose influence shaped the architectural landscape of Los Angeles. Beelman holds a significant place in LA’s history, having designed iconic structures that continue to stand as testaments to his visionary talent.

One such landmark is our very own Woodbury University, which Beelman designed in 1937. Founded in 1884, Woodbury University was one of the first institutions of higher education to offer an accelerated program for students seeking a degree in a concentrated format.

When the college relocated to its Wilshire location in 1937, the monumental building designed by Claud Beelman was one of the most imposing structures on the boulevard. Although this architectural masterpiece has since been demolished, its legacy serves as a testament to Beelman’s visionary talent and the historic significance it held as a landmark of architectural excellence in Los Angeles.

Beelman’s legacy, best known for one of the most beloved buildings in Los Angeles, the Eastern Columbia Building (1930), extends to landmarks like Central Plaza (originally Tishman Plaza), the Superior Oil Company headquarters (now the Standard Downtown Hotel), and the Occidental Petroleum building (now housing the UCLA Hammer museum). Despite his passing in 1963, Beelman continues to be recognized, having received a posthumous Honorary Doctor of Architecture Degree from Woodbury University in 2023.

From historic landmarks to modern marvels, Claud Beelman’s legacy continues to inspire generations of architects and enthusiasts alike. Join us in celebrating the rich history and architectural legacy of Woodbury University and Claud Beelman.


Last Updated March 13, 2024


LA Conservatory: https://www.laconservancy.org/learn/architect-biographies/claud-beelman/


Los Angeles Public Library: https://ls2pac.lapl.org/?section=resource&resourceid=1951736969&currentIndex=0&view=reviewsDetailsTab

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