ASC unveils remodeled Marvel House

(09-24-2008)

Presidents, past and present: Former Adams State President, Dr. John Marvel (left) and his wife, Frances, enjoyed a tour of the refurbished president's residence, named in their honor. At right are the home's current occupants, Dr. David and Mrs. Virginia Svaldi.

Dr. John and Mrs. Frances Marvel, the namesakes of Adams State College's presidents residence, were on hand for an open house at the recently remodeled home, Sept. 19.

The remodeled Marvel House retains its original Spanish charm.

Adams State's current president, Dr. David Svaldi, and his wife, Virginia, welcomed college faculty and staff at two open house events to show off the refurbished Spanish-style home. The $475,000 renovation preserved the 5,000-square-foot building's historic feel, while upgrading mechanical, electrical, and telecommunications systems. Interior remodeling included creation of a great room for special events.

"Virginia and I look forward to hosting many more events," Dr. Svaldi said. "Our goal is to make this historic home the living room for the campus community."

Adams State College faculty and staff gather in the Marvel House's new great room.

Built in 1929 on the corner of Richardson Ave. and Second Street, the Marvel House is listed in the City of Alamosa's Historic Registry. The college's first president, Dr. Ira Richardson, resided there until 1950. The Svaldis took up housekeeping in late July.

The Board of Trustees for Adams State College named the residence "The Marvel House" in April 2005, in recognition of the Marvels' impact on Adams State. Dr. Marvel served as Adams State's fourth president, from 1966-77, which was a period of marked growth and change for the college. By 1975, enrollment reached the highest level to date.

Mrs. Marvel oversaw an early renovation of the home, maintained its 17 rooms, greeted celebrity guests, and served as hostess at countless events over 11 years. Now residing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the couple has traveled the globe on behalf of education for more than half a century. The Marvels were honored at Adams State's 1982 Spring Commencement with honorary doctorate degrees.

By Julie Waechter