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Arbol Verde Collection
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A collection of materials focusing on the history, expansion, and subsequent gentrification of the Arbol Verde neighborhood. This collection includes a variety of materials relating to the development of numerous houses in the Arbol Verde neighborhood and how the expansion of Claremont McKenna College has impacted the neighborhood over time.
Arbol Verde is a neighborhood in Claremont, established in 1910. Following the 1910 Mexican Revolution and subsequent national tensions, many Mexican immigrants fled the country, settling in the Claremont and Pomona Valley area due to the abundance of work opportunities in the citrus industry and packinghouses. Initially, Mexican immigrants were forced to live in one of two barrio neighborhoods due to housing restrictions based on race and segregation, Arbol Verde being one of these barrio neighborhoods. Despite this, the proximity of Arbol Verde to citrus groves and work in packinghouses made the neighborhood a viable option for many immigrants seeking work, thus the population continued to expand. Over time, in an attempt to diversify Claremont, initiatives were taken to bolster community involvement and relationships between Arbol Verde residents, students, and residents from the western side of Claremont. The Intercultural Council Committee was responsible for the creation of new, architecturally significant housing which students and artists were placed, living alongside longtime Arbol Verde residents. Many houses within Arbol Verde also became historically significant having been built in the early 20th century. Arbol Verde was initially two separate neighborhoods that over time became united. Currently, it stretches from 1st Street, its southernmost end, to 6th Street, and is bordered on the west by Mills Avenue until Claremont Boulevard on the east. The neighborhood runs along the Claremont McKenna College Property lines. It is the proximity of Arbol Verde to the Claremont Colleges that prompted much of its demolition over time. Problems of ownership and property of the land stretch back to the very beginning of Arbol Verde as the people who lived there, being primarily Mexican immigrants, could not legally purchase land until well into the 20th century. Thus the process for acquiring ownership of various housing tracts was made easier for Claremont McKenna College. As a means to develop more resources for the college, houses, despite being historically significant and occupied, were relocated or torn down. Claremont McKenna College’s expansion process began in the 1960s with the creation of Claremont Boulevard, which intersected older Arbol Verde properties. The transformation continues to this day, with the most recent alterations done in 2012. Gentrification and the continued development of Arbol Verde have caused much community conflict and push back over time by those residents wishing to preserve the cultural and architectural character of the neighborhood.
3.76 linear feet (5 boxes and 1 file folder); containing photographs, newspaper and press clippings, administrative materials, promotional materials (flyers, programs, and postcards), maps, architectural drawings, environmental impact reports, essays, correspondence, and publications
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder (if applicable).
The collection is open for research use.