- Long Beach, CA
- Site Type:
- Bas Reliefs, Education and Health, Art Works, Schools
- New Deal Agencies:
- Public Works Administration (PWA), Public Works Funding
- John Comeley Wilson Austin
- Quality of Information:
- Very Good
- Site Survival:
The Public Works Administration (PWA) paid for the reconstruction of Washington Middle School in Long Beach, CA, after the school was heavily damaged in the 1933 Long Beach earthquake. The school reopened in 1935.
The school’s website gives a description of the building’s exterior artworks: “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 [other] 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… are characteristic of PWA Moderne structures.” (Washington Middle School History)
The school website does not mention that the shop building on Long Beach Avenue also has bas-reliefs.
PWA job cards held at the National Archives (see photos)
Site originally submitted by Richard Walker on May 7, 2023.
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