George Washington Middle School – Long Beach CA



The PWA did work on this school. Exact details not known, but the PWA seems to have been involved in earthquake retrofitting as well as some more decorative additions after the school was damaged in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. The LBUSD lists 1935 as the date of construction. A description from the school web site reads:

“The school’s construction of reinforced concrete was conceived to comply with the revised building codes. Washington’s design details combine characteristics from all three phases of the Art Deco and Art Moderne architecture. The exterior has Streamline Moderne details. There is a low-relief profile of George Washington (1732-99) above the main entryway on Cedar Avenue. Recessed double vertical lines create the illusion of a two-story lobby area. The two remaining Cedar Avenue entrances are bordered with allegorical low-relief characters reminiscent of Greek vase paintings. They represent literature, engineering technology, art and music. These low-relief sculptures, as well as the stylized flora and fauna surrounding the Cedar Avenue doorways, are derived from the Beaux-Arts classical style and are characteristic of PWA Modern structures.

The lobby is finished in Philippine mahogany with two modernistic chandeliers. The ceiling is constructed in Kanec material, which is tooled in an attractive design that combines geometric and floral shapes. The Zigzag ( or Stepping) Moderne influence can be seen in the teal glazed geometric tiles seen in the lobby and on the first floor water fountains.”

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Location Info

1450 Cedar Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90813

Location notes:

Coordinates: 33.785152, -118.195035

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