- Los Angeles, CA
- Site Type:
- Schools, Education and Health
- New Deal Agencies:
- Public Works Administration (PWA), Public Works Funding
- Marsh Smith and Powell
- Quality of Information:
- Very Good
- Site Survival:
Hollywood High School, which opened in 1910, was rebuilt with funding from the Public Works Administration (PWA) between 1934 and 1935.
In January 1934, the PWA allocated $9,380,000 to the Los Angeles Unified School District for the rehabilitation of schools damaged in the severe 1933 Long Beach earthquake. One hundred and thirty schools would benefit from the system-wide loan and grant, with 2,500 men to be employed in rehabilitation work over 21 months.
Hollywood High School’s beautiful Streamline Moderne styling was designed by the architectural firm of Marsh, Smith and Powell. Built of reinforced concrete, the two-story Science Building ($208,968 in PWA funds) features a recessed entrance and elegant curved corners with staircases. “The science building contains 11 classrooms, recitation rooms, laboratories for physics and biology, and lecture rooms” (Short & Stanley-Brown, 1939). Several of the classrooms have since been converted into offices.
The Science Building was featured alongside the newly completed Liberal Arts 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. The Southern California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in April bestowed on the Science Building an Honor Award in recognition of its outstanding architectural qualities. Only fifteen new buildings of any type were so recognized in Southern California” (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.
Hollywood High School is one of the most famous schools in the world, thanks to its many notable graduates and having been featured in any number of movies.
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)
“Washington Allocation of $9,380,000 Speeds Rebuilding of Quake-Damaged Schools,” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995), January 7, 1934.
“The P.W.A. Program,” Los Angeles Times (1923-1995), February 27, 1934.
"School Project Launched," Los Angeles Times (1923-1995), Apr 10, 1934.
Site originally submitted by Shaina Potts on October 7, 2011.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker & Natalie McDonald.
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