Helen Renwick was an influential philanthropist who supported the growing Claremont community in the early 1900s. In 1919, Helen Renwick donated the land behind her house to be used as the site for a Claremont library. In honor of her legacy, today the Board of Supervisors approved a motion, authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, that changes the name of the County’s Claremont Library building to the “Claremont Helen Renwick Library.”
“Helen Renwick exemplified what it means to be a good neighbor. She actively sought ways to improve her community, and she made an impact that has lasted generations,” said Supervisor Solis. “Through her donation, Claremont was able to build their first public library. She supported future generations of readers, creating a special space for people from all ages and backgrounds to come together and learn. Claremont residents and lovers of learning owe Helen Renwick a debt of gratitude, and today is a special recognition of her proud legacy.”
Helen Renwick also donated the money for construction of Rembrandt Hall, the art building at Pomona College, and the establishment of Pilgrim Place, a retirement community for Christian workers. The National Park Services has designated her home as a historic place.
“Helen Renwick was a patron of the arts, community leader, and philanthropist,” said Tara Schultz, Claremont City Manager. “Her contributions to the town, colleges, and community have cemented her legacy as one of Claremont’s most important early twentieth-century citizens. Her gift of six parcels of land established the first community library in Claremont. Renaming the Claremont library after Helen Renwick is a fitting tribute to her life and legacy.”