Westmont College, in my day, had a student literary magazine called "The Phoenix." I can't say that I ever stopped to question WHY it was called "The Phoenix." Now, I think I know.
Last fall, Westmont College experienced a devastating fire that burned buildings, homes and the beautiful vegetation. Thankfully, no lives were lost. My friend and Westmont roommate, Angelica, and I went to investigate the damage from the "Tea Fire" for ourselves. It certainly did NOT look like the Westmont that I fell in love with 12 years ago. The above pictures are of Clark, the dorm I lived in my first two years. The resident director's home was a shell of a house and you could tell that many of the sections experienced a great deal of fire damage. All of the sections were getting new roofs.
This has always been one of my favorite Westmont spots. It's the remains of the formal garden with the prayer chapel in the background. Below is a picture from last summer of nearly the exact same spot. I think this shows the dramatic change.
This is a view from the gym. I don't know if this is new construction or fire damage. All I know is this used to be green.
Angelica and I wanted to take the V.K. stairs back up to the dining commons parking lot. We had quite the surprise when we discovered a blocked off area and completely destroyed stairs. I fell walking down these stairs when I was a junior. Now, they are no more!
The Tea Fire is not the first fire in the college's history. There was a large fire back in the late 60s, early 70s. And guess what? Westmont rose from the ashes then and it will rise again. Much like that mythical bird, the phoenix.