Mabel Shaw Bridges Hall of Music, this 550-seat gem of a concert hall better known as “Little Bridges,” sits within the beautiful grounds of Pomona College on Fourth Street just east of College Avenue. Each year, from September through May, the College sponsors a broad spectrum of nearly 45 concerts encompassing classical, jazz, folk, Western and non-Western music. The performances, which are traditionally free of charge, are open to the campus and surrounding communities.
Located on the Pomona College campus, this secluded, outdoor amphitheater is home to the Midsummer Shakespeare Festival.
The Mabel Shaw Bridges Music Auditorium at Pomona College was built in 1931 at a cost of $600,000. It opened in 1932 with Artur Rodzinski conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, a performance that led to a continuing association between the orchestra and The Claremont Colleges.
The auditorium was designed by architect William Templeton Johnson. Conceptually, it is as a free adaptation of Northern Italian Renaissance architecture. Its great white columns, vaulting arches and massive wooden doors provide an imposing entrance. The foyer is grand but warm with soft lights, hand-painted coffered ceiling and Carrara marble columns. Giovanni (John) Smeraldi’s 22,000-square-foot ceiling depicts the signs of the zodiac in blue, silver and gold, and rises 55 feet above the auditorium floor spanning 120 feet with no inside supports.
The auditorium has some 60,000 square feet of inside floor space, 14,000 square feet of porches and walks, and a 90-by-40-foot stage with 62-foot proscenium opening. Current seating accommodates about 2,494 people.
The Folk Music Center and Museum has been in Grammy-winner Ben Harper’s family since 1958, and features hundreds of instruments from around the world that visitors can actually touch and play. It’s become a destination for music lovers from as far away as Australia, Japan, and Europe. Many days you can meet Ellen Harper herself, working behind the counter.
Claremont Village is a historic downtown area in the heart of Claremont. This European-style village has over 150 shops, restaurants, bakeries, art galleries, day spas, boutiques, entertainment venues, hotels, lounges, and more. Notable stops include shopping at Rhino Records, Heirloom and Amelie; snacking at Cheese Cave, I Like Pie, Some Crust Bakery and Bert and Rocky’s; and dining at Bardot, Espiau’s, Tutti Mangia, Viva Madrid and Walter’s. Walking these picturesque streets will make you swear you’re no longer in Southern California.
Built in 1909, the Claremont Packing House is the last-standing of four Claremont packing houses built along the Santa Fe rail corridor during the height of the citrus industry. Today a century of architecture comes alive with fine dining, live music, hip boutiques, wine tastings, art classes, art walks and festivals. In addition to being home to Packing House Wines, Gus’s BBQ, and other great eateries, it features the Aerial Circus Studio, where students learn to fly through the air, a cooking academy, and Thoreau’s Bookshop, a nationally famous bookstore that provides donated books to prisoners.