Lorie Hanoian, Student of Distinction

Lorie Hanoian

As a child visiting the Los Angles art museums, Lorie Hanoian fell in love with art. That love led her to attend an apparel design program at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill before getting her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and later a B.A. in Studio Art at Fresno State. Hanoian is currently working to complete her Master of Arts in Art History.

With a focus on the neo-classical Beaux-Arts style of architecture, and a passion to document the past, her thesis is on the 1896 City of Paris Dry Goods Company building in San Francisco.

“Lorie’s two years of intensive research in the archives and libraries of San Francisco unearthed ample documentary and contemporary newspaper evidence and revealed much previously unpublished data on this history which will first appear in her thesis,” said Dr. Keith Jordan, Associate Professor of Art History. “She also found material which had led her to debunk some myths and lore about the City of Paris that have accrued over the years.”

The research required for her thesis prompted Hanoian to entrench herself in the San Francisco historical preservation organizations present at conferences.

“Lorie is a valuable ambassador between Fresno State and the larger community. Anyone who has worked with her is bound to be struck by her intelligence, grace, and good humor. Lorie Hanoian is not only a person of integrity, she is a rare ‘Renaissance woman’ whose life is driven by curiosity about, admiration of, and participation in the creation of meaning and beauty,” said Laura D. Meyer, Ph.D., Professor of Art History.

Hanoian plans to continue researching early twentieth-century architecture and how people interacted with the spaces. She also hopes to publish a book on the City of Paris building.

Personal Narrative

My background is a compilation of theatre, studio art, and art history. My love for the arts began as a child while visiting Los Angeles art museums with my family. After high school I attended an apparel design program that led me into the fashion industry. Progressing forward I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in studio art and theatre. While working in theatre I created costumes, which shaped the actor’s character and assisted the audience with the understanding of that character. I have studied art in college, with private instructors, and continually work at improving my drawing and painting skills. I frequently read about art and attend art exhibitions adding to my database of knowledge. In art history my area of focus is in the neo-classical Beaux-Arts style of Architecture, executed around the turn of the twentieth century.

The topic of my thesis for the Master of Arts degree in art history is on the City of Paris Dry Goods Company, which historically conducted business in San Francisco, California in an 1896 landmark building. My experience has taught me the value of research, has pushed me into becoming a writer with endurance, and overall has molded me into an emphatic historian. I feel passionate about documenting the past for the benefit of present and future generations. Knowledge that is not passed on will not be valued, and what is not valued shall be lost.

To further my knowledge of San Francisco history I have become a member of the San Francisco Heritage, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic buildings, and participate in their educational events. I have attended San Francisco’s History Days where I’ve networked with many historians and librarians throughout the city. Finally, in 2018 I attended a weeklong conference in San Francisco called PastForward, sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where top architects and historians spoke on the value of conservation, legendary architects, and how to be a leader in historic preservation.

My goals after earning the M. A. degree are to continue researching early twentieth-century architecture and to investigate how people have interacted with these spaces. I will continue researching City of Paris, with the goal of publishing a book. This legendary building, and company, has yet to be properly documented in book form and its legacy is begging for recognition. Additional future interests include former department stores and early twentieth century buildings, in historic downtown Fresno. Structures created by Richard F. Felchlin and George Kelham, in the neo-classical style, are of particular interest.

I have benefited my department by bringing a new spirit of awareness of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture and the people who once interacted with the buildings of that era. I have displayed how passionate one can be for history since the character of the past is what makes our present richer! There is value in the presence of a continual past.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

2 thoughts on “Lorie Hanoian, Student of Distinction

  1. Congratulations, Lori!
    I’m so very proud of you. I know how devoted and thorough you were to your thesis.
    Looking forward to seeing you real soon. Vicki Thomas


  2. It has been a great joy to experience your journey through art history in the years I have known you. So proud of you Lorie and I have seen first hand your deep love of art and fashion and how you unselfishly share your knowledge with all you meet, enriching others with a look into the past. Best Wishes today and always, your fellow Apparel Design student at Diablo Valley College and friend, Lynda Helen Weir


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