Hollywood High School: Mako Bas Reliefs – Los Angeles CA


The Public Works Administration (PWA) funded the construction of the science and the liberal arts buildings at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, California.  The science building was completed in 1935, Liberal Arts in 1938.  The PWA aided in the reconstruction of hundreds of schools around Southern California after the devastating Long Beach earthquake of 1933.

The two-story, Streamline Moderne buildings were both designed by the architectural firm of Marsh, Smith and Powell.  They both feature recessed entrances and are built of reinforced concrete. 

Above each entrance is a bas-relief sculpture cast in concrete.  We believe that both are by artist Bartolo Mako, but the LA School website and a brief bio of Mako both mention only one relief.  If so, we do not know the identity of the second artist.

It is unknown to us whether Mako was paid out of the construction funds or a separate Federal Art Project commission.  

Source notes

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

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.



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

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


Location Info

1521 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Coordinates: 34.0982, -118.339

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