Strub Hall “Tea & Tour” celebrates 100 years of Pasadena history
More than 100 parents, alumnae, past parents and friends joined us on campus in early October to kick off a year of centennial celebrations for our beloved Strub Hall. It was a day of familiar faces in beloved spaces—a mini Mayfield family reunion! Author and historian Ave DeVanon Bortz ’61—an alumna and longtime Mayfield teacher—gave a fascinating presentation that brought the history of our Bellefontaine Street home to life, and students in the Mayfield History Club led tours of the mansion at the heart of our campus.
Head of School Kate Morin opened the day with this prayer: “We thank you for the blessing of this beautiful campus, this beautiful house that we call home. We thank you for allowing us to serve your mission here in this place of beauty and in this place of history.”
The landmark Beaux-Arts home was originally designed by noted Pasadena architect Frederick Roehrig for cattle, oil and banking baron E.J. Marshall. Described in local newspapers as “the costliest home in the West” when it was completed in 1919, the house was decked out in French mahogany, English oak, and Italian marble—features that remain intact today thanks to almost 70 years of dedicated stewardship by the Mayfield Senior School community.
“The story of the Mayfield house is a really interesting and somewhat convoluted one,” Mrs. Bortz explained. “It's the story of a family home and… the different stages it's gone through. Now it’s the home of a Holy Child School, but it's a family home and that's the thing to remember.”
Santa Anita Racetrack founder Charles Strub and his wife Vera bought the property for the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus in 1949, and the Mayfield Senior School campus opened in 1950. Certain rooms were reconfigured to meet the needs of a Catholic high school—bedrooms became classrooms, the dining room was transformed into a consecrated chapel, and the original indoor swimming pool was repurposed into an art studio—but today, Strub Hall still feels like it did 100 years ago: a welcoming family home.
“This incredible house is really a second home to Mayfield students and their families,” said Mrs. Morin. “We feel so blessed to be able to live and work and learn and grow in this amazing space.”
Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 21 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.