|How Marcellus Joslyn got his name everywhere
by Garrison Frost
The South Bay is home to three civic centers with the word Joslyn in their names.
The Joslyn Center in El Segundo was founded in the late 1960s and serves as a place for community gatherings and classes. Manhattan Beach's Joslyn Center serves roughly the same purpose. Torrance's Joslyn Fine Arts Gallery was originally a senior center when it was built in 1964, but now serves as a gallery for the arts.
The origin of the Joslyn name comes from entrepreneur Marcellus L. Joslyn, who made a fortune in the telephone business before retiring to Santa Monica in the 1950s. It was while living there that he turned his attention to more relaxed interests such as philanthropy. In 1960 he created the Marcellus L. Joslyn Foundation, which donated funds around the country to a variety of noble causes, with an emphasis on senior centers, hospitals and colleges.
The foundation provided a number of matching grants to local cities to create facilities to house senior activities. It wasn't uncommon for the Foundation to fund half of the construction costs for these facilities. As mentioned above, Torrance's Fine Arts Gallery was originally a senior center before programming outgrew the space. Manhattan Beach and El Segundo's facilities continue to house those types of programs today.
The Foundation's giving went far beyond the South Bay. There is a Joslyn Adult Center in Burbank, for instance, as well as in Palm Desert and elsewhere throughout the country. If you run a Google search, you'll find them all over the place. We found one in Nebraska.
To learn more about Joslyn, take a look here, here or here.
(March 4, 2004)
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