"It is probable that from the outset of his tenure [Dean] David Snodgrass intended to build a permanent home for the College. He was a builder by instinct, with a sense of space and an eye for decoration .... The present Hastings College of the Law at 198 McAllister Street owed more to him in utilization of site, space arrangement, and the appearance of the front, or facade, than it did to the architect responsible for it." ... On August 23 , [Snodgrass] proposed acquiring 'a building of its own for Hastings College after the war,' and [Board of Directors members] Slack, Ehrman, and Maurice Harrison were appointed a committee to decide 'ways and means' to provide such a building. There was no question raised as to whether or not to build, only how it was to be done. After a request for an appropriation from the State, Hastings received authorization in 1947 for $1,450,000, while the University received an appropriation of $1,000,000 for construction of the new law school at UCLA. Hastings worked closely with the University architect (Louis DeMonte) in planning the project, and the outside architectural firm of Masten and Hurd was retained. The ground-breaking took place on November 30, 1950. "Finally, in late winter of 1952-53, the dream was a reality and ready for occupancy. It was a handsome building. The facade was imposing no Iconic Order, indeed, but the louvred lights gave a bold appearance ... The interior was thoroughly functional and almost luxuriously elegant. The classrooms and moot courtroom were perfectly furnished. There was finally room for Charles William Slack's library, and the reading room was named in his honor. Open stacks for the first time seemed to invite Hastings students into the world of books. And there were offices for all the faculty, a common room for them to meet in, and ample space for student activities.
"On March 26, 1953, the 75th anniversary of the Act of 1878 establishing Hastings, the new edifice that had hardly yet been occupied was dedicated. The same chief justice and president of the Board, Phil S. Gibson, who had been present at the meeting that appointed David Ellington Snodgrass acting dean thirteen years before, was in the chair. The terrace was packed with dignitaries, the faculty and Directors, representatives of other law schools, legislators, and judges. Governor Earl Warren (soon to be Chief Justice of the United States) bulked large on the platform. Clark Kerr, provost of the University, represented it in the absence of Robert Gordon Sproul. ... The principal address was given by the president of the Association of American Law Schools, Charles B. Nutting, vice-chancellor and dean of the law school at the University of Pittsburgh ... " (See Barnes, pp. 283-289.)
198 McAllister Street