Old Schools

The Schools of Los Angeles

This page presents some of the earliest school architecture of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Many of these old buildings have been sold or destroyed over time. We present them to you as window into the past.(

Go back to the Early Days of Education in Los Angeles)

Cahuenga Valley Township School

Cahuenga Valley Township School in 1884 had a limited student body and faculty. Some reports noted that the horse in the photo was used to bring students to and from school, just like the "big yellow buses" of today.

Pass School

The Pass School was located at today's intersection of Sunset and Gordon . The school was constructed in 1894 and contained three classrooms.

Round House

The "Round House" was a feature of Lehman's "Garden of Paradise" which ran between Main and Spring Street's just below Third Street. It was later sold to the District and converted into the first kindergarten.

Spring Street School (School House #1)

In 1855, the first American public school was contructed in Los Angeles. The Spring Street School was also known as School House #1. The school was sold to Adolph Ramish in 1919 for approximately one hundred thousand dollars.

Vernon Street School

The Vernon Street Elementary School was constructed in 1896. The Vernon district was annexed by L.A. in 1928. Passage of a bond issue resulted in the building of a new school on the site.

Olive Street School

The Olive Street School was located between 4th and 5th, on Olive. It was constructed at the turn of the century and was converted into a high school in 1909. An evening school was also opened there in 1908 for students that needed to work during the day. This photo was taken near the end of construction. Notice the workman's ladder laying across the front steps.

Macy Street School

The Macy Street School was built in 1881 on the corner of Macy and Bridget Streets. It was not named until 1887. It was considered one of the more beautiful schools in the District.

The Hooper Avenue School was contructed in 1908. Its wood siding and interesting window treatment made quite an impression on the community. Notice the flag in the photo; it was painted in by the photographer.

Broadway School

Abraham Lincoln school was part of the Venice School District. When the district was annexed by L.A. in 1926, the school changed its name to Broadway School. Note its California "Mission" styling. Also take note of the fountain in the front of the school.

Custer Ave School

The Custer Avenue School was built in 1895. It was the first Junior High School (Middle School in the District) It became an elementary school in 1914. It was located on the corner of Custer and Temple Streets.

Boyd Street School

With very little playground space, the Boyd Street School was completed in 1895. Although difficult to see, try to find the student in the front window and the horse in the backyard (right side of the picture). The school was sold in 1945.

One of the most beautiful schools in the District, Mt. Vernon Junior High was carefully modeled after George Washington's home, near Alexandria, Virginia. Notice the classic cars from the 50's in front of the school. The exterior of the school was changed for maintenance reasons.

Mann Junior High School

Horace Mann Junior High School, located on St. Andrew Place was opened in 1926. The school did not decide on a name until 1930. The school looks much the same today, without the Fords from the 20s. Notice the newly planted trees in the front of the school, along with the dirt road.

Harper School

Harper School, built in 1896, changed its name to Vermont Avenue School in 1903. Notice the round dormer on the right side of the picture. Also notice another flag that was painted in by the photographer.

The 1933 Long Beach earthquake did a great deal of damage to District schools. Unlike the portable bungalows of today, Emmerson Jr. High School used tents as temporary classrooms. Huntington Park High School set up tents on their football field. They had to close school for several weeks in the winter because of the cold.

The classic brick structure of John Burroughs Junior High School was considered an architectural wonder in 1922. (The school was named in 1927, five years after it opened) Because of extensive retrofitting, Burrough's looks much the same today.

The modern structure of Wilshire Crest School was an exquisite acquisition for the school district when it was annexed in 1923. The clean architectural lines are visually pleasing and considered quite unique at for time that it was built.

The Cathay Center School had a strong "Spanish Mission" influence for its entrance. Many of the schools from the 1930s have this look.