Behind the Building
César Chávez Cultural Center
Photography by Rob Trubia
The César Chávez Cultural Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and has been in the Patton House the entire time. Some readers might remember that UNC’s nursing program was once housed in the 3,000-square-foot brick structure on the corner of 20th Street and 14th Avenue. The house was built in 1934 and purchased in 1965 from George and Helen Patton.
Much like a family, the Patton House and César Chávez Cultural Center bind together stories and memories to form a home away from home for many UNC students.
Center director Patricia Escobar shared some of her favorite memories during the center’s 30th anniversary celebration Sept. 24.
“Some of you who come to visit after many years since graduation always say: Gee Trish, it felt weird to come in and see the familiar place and not know anyone anymore....and I always want to say, well that’s true but believe me somewhere here we have another Daniel Duran around here wreaking havoc, confronting Paco the resident ghost in order to name him, or another Carmen Rivera secretly planning to take over the world through the institution of Lambda Theta Nu!
“Another free spirit such as Rachel Ramirez, who I found flying a kite on the parking lot of the Center or Rebecca Valenzuela, quietly leading an organization that drove her to tears.
“I have a story about most of you alumni — your imprint is clearly left not just in our hearts but on the walls of the most wonderful home away from home the César Chávez Cultural Center!”