‘Old’ Annenberg building to be renovated with $10 million gift

The front entrance to the old Annenberg building, which is where the CPD is located. It is a white building with brick pavement in front of it. A tree branch hangs over the front.

The front entrance of the Annenberg School for Communication building
Architect A. Quincy Jones, who provided the building’s original 1970s design, will also design the renovated building. (Charles McCollum | Daily Trojan file photo)

The Annenberg School for Communication building will be renovated thanks to a $10 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation, according to a YouTube video posted by the school. 

The foundation’s gift is composed of a $5 million grant and a $5 million matching challenge. USC Annenberg said in the video’s caption that it hopes to “transform ASC’s signature spaces into dynamic hubs that propel students’ success, further groundbreaking research, and encourage new partnerships and initiatives.”

The 56-second video posted Tuesday featured digital renderings of proposed redesigns to areas of the building, including the east lobby and student services wing, west lobby and auditorium. 

ASC was originally designed by A. Quincy Jones & Associates. Workers broke ground on the east wing in 1974 and finished construction in 1976. Four years later, in 1980, the building’s west wing opened. The original building was made possible by Walter Annenberg’s gift to the then year-old Annenberg School of Communication in 1972. According to the facilities page on the USC Annenberg website, the building was modeled after a late modern style of architecture. ASC has 95,000 square feet of “usable space” and was designated a Historic Cultural Monument by the Los Angeles City Council in 2014.  

According to an announcement posted by USC Annenberg on Instagram, architect Quincy Jones will yet again design the space. The new design will include updated technologies in classrooms, lobby spaces and the auditorium, as well as a revitalized second floor terrace that will be a hybrid indoor and outdoor space, which an Annenberg News article said will incorporate a “core tenant” of Quincy Jones’ style: one that emphasizes a connection between the building and nature. 

In an Instagram post, Dean Willow Bay expressed her excitement regarding the renovations and their effects on her school. 

“Our historic Annenberg School of Communication building’s original design embodies our passion for technology, our dedication to service, and our commitment to use communication to address society’s issues,” Bay wrote. “Now … we have the opportunity to build on this foundation with a fundraising campaign that offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create new spaces that will once again advance our future.”

Athena Fleming, a senior publications editor and media relations representative at the Annenberg Office of Communication and Marketing, declined to give an exact timeline, writing that the renovation “is a multi-year project” in an email to the Daily Trojan Tuesday afternoon.