Adobe Lodge

The Adobe Lodge, one of the last original structures on SCU’s campus carries plenty of history in each brick.

“The brick.” That’s the translation of adobe in Arabic—as in, “the only kind of brick you need.” It’s one of the world’s oldest building materials, utilized for its ability to keep structures cool in summer and warm in winter. And it’s what much of the original buildings connected to the Mission Santa Clara de Asís were made of. Today, the Adobe Lodge is the last structure that remains from the campus’ beginnings.

Adobe Brick


Humans began using adobe to build shelter as far back as the eighth century B.C.E. Made from a mix of clay-rich earth and water, adobe bricks often incorporate some kind of binding organic material like grass or straw. Adobe construction is popular in warm climates, and many Native American tribes used the bricks to build their communities.

Palm Tree


A squat palm tree stands in the Mission Gardens near the Adobe Lodge in 1906. Twenty years later, a fire that started in the old Mission Church spread rapidly across campus. The Adobe Lodge, which now houses dining services for faculty and staff, was spared.

The Lodge

Adobe Lodge

William Chuck Eymann was Santa Clara University’s contracted photographer. He captured shots from around campus between 1960 and 1978, a period of great change in the valley surrounding it. Adobe Lodge was built in 1825 to house utility rooms for the Mission, including stables and storerooms. When Santa Clara College was established in 1851, the lodge was converted into living quarters with a study hall and classroom.

Bon Appétit

Bon Appétit

The Adobe Lodge is open for lunch to all University faculty, staff, and their guests Monday through Friday. It’s run by Bon Appétit Management Company. Director of catering Hailey Watson estimates they serve up-ward of 75 guests on their busiest days. Chocolate chip cookies are baked fresh daily and they’re usually the first menu item to sell out.


Romantic Venues

In addition to providing dining services to SCU faculty and staff, the lodge is available to members of the local community to rent out for events. Director Watsonsays weddings are her favorite events to work, though the lodge also hosts birthday parties, retirement-shindigs, baby showers, and memorial receptions.

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