California State University, Fullerton

Unfortunately, like so many universities, CSUF’s midcentury masterpieces are being slowly replaced by the “state of the art.” Regardless, some of its original brutalist buildings stand strong. Of particular interest is the Pollak Library, with its concrete facade that mimics a knit-block style texture. Whereas Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries used actual blocks to create a similar effect with their materiality, the Pollak Library is a technological advancement. The term “brutalist” conjures images of blank, flat concrete walls, but through construction techniques new to that era, the term became elevated to something more visually intriguing. (2020)

Architect: Howard B. Van Heuklyn

Built: 1959

Style: Brutalist

Type: Civic

Address: 800 N State College Blvd

City: Fullerton


Lubell, S., & Bradley, D. (2016). Mid-Century Modern Architecture Travel Guide: West Coast USA. London, England: Phaidon Press Ltd.