On this date in 1963, the Long Beach Independent Press Telegram’s Women’s section ran a profile of the posh Larsen Hall off-campus women’s dormitory at 1310 Electric Avenue in Seal Beach under the breezy headline, “Larsen Hall — Books ‘n Bathing Caps.”
Larsen Hall was last seen in this February 21 in Seal Beach History post for 1964 – a scandalous post filled with shame, dishonor, ignominy, and disgrace. (I may be overstating a bit.)
Ah, but what a difference four months makes! On October 6, 1963, the situation still appears sunny at Larsen Hall, inspiring the unnamed reporter to observe, “Dorm living today is like camping in mink.” The reporter felt that the two-story dormitory, “just a bikini-brief walk from the beach,” had “nearly all the the attributes of a resort hotel.” These attributes included a dining and lounge area, a central pool patio, a sundeck, a separate snack room off the kitchen, a secluded library, an intercom system, and an automated laundry. The entire facility could accommodate 37 students.
Some of the current students did homework and dangled their feet in the pool the day the reporter visited. Judy Delulio from Lake Tahoe shared that “You’re never lonely here. We stick together — there’s always something fun going on: a popcorn party, a starfish hunt at the beach, a special excursion. Best of all, we have neat management.”
Ah, yes. The management. At this stage, there’s nothing but praise for Frank and Joan Silone. Frank drove the “girls back and forth to school in the hall’s private bug of a bus” and did the cooking, “turning out menus that would please a gourmet.” Joan helped with sewing and the evening song fests.
But there was trouble (and poorly reproduced from microfilm photos) in the sad future of Larsen Hall.
– Michael Dobkins