Hollywood High School: Liberal Arts Building – Los Angeles CA


In 1938, the Public Works Administration (PWA) funded the construction of the Liberal Arts Building at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, CA. The PWA aided in the reconstruction of hundreds of Southern California schools after the devastating 1933 Long Beach earthquake.

Built of reinforced concrete designed to resist earthquake damage, the Liberal Arts Building contained 14 classrooms as well as facilities for art and domestic science (Short & Stanley-Brown, 1939). It was featured alongside the Science Building in Hollywood High School’s 1939 yearbook: “Two of the most beautiful buildings on the Hollywood High School campus house the six Academic Departments. Alike in general appearance and yet distinctive in detail, the Science and Liberal Arts Buildings are considered the two most architecturally perfect high school structures in the city” (p. 48).

In addition to the Science and Liberal Arts Buildings, Marsh, Smith and Powell designed a modernistic facade for the school’s original 1904 auditorium, which was converted into a library.

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s

Source notes

C. W. Short and R. Stanley-Brown, Public Buildings: Architecture Under the Public Works Administration, 1933 to 1939 (Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1939).

Public Works Administration, "List of all Allotted Non-Federal Projects, All Programs, by State and Docket, as of May, 30, 1942,” entry A1, no. 59, Record Group 135. Washington D.C.: Federal Works Administration, 1942. Located at the National Archives II, College Park, MD.

1939 Hollywood High School Poinsettia Yearbook (Hollywood, CA)

Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on September 19, 2022.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker & Natalie McDonald.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

1521 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Coordinates: 34.0992, -118.3401

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