AKA: Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Corona Avenue School, Bell, CA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - elementary schools

Designers: Neutra, Richard J., Architect (firm); Richard Josef Neutra (architect)

Dates: constructed 1934-1935

1 story

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3825 Bell Avenue
Bell, CA 90201-2308

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The school was sited at Bell Avenue between Bear and Corona Avenues.


Photographs of the Corona (sometimes called the Bell) Avenue Elementary School were widely published and were seen to exemplify the adventurous attitude toward design active in Southern California during the 1920s and 1930s. The sliding, factory-style doors of the experimental wing of the Corona Avenue School allowed for students to move inside and out, enabling them access to the locale's salubrious fresh air and sunlight. This was one of the most publicized, if not the most reproduced, open-air school of the twentieth century in America, and cemented Richard Neutra's international reputation for bold architectural experimentation.

Building History

This elementary school was erected just after the sizeable Long Beach Earthquake of 1933, when the State of California passed the Field Act, mandating improved seismic building standards for schools. As such, its passage provided money for the rebuilding of damaged schools utilizing new materials and methods. Neutra dubbed the Corona Street Elementary School an "experimental" project.

Building Notes

Photographs of the Bell Avenue School's sliding doors, allowing for indoor/outdoor learning, were widely published in the 1930s. At this time, physicians and researchers stressed the importance of exposure to sunlight and fresh air for the health and development of children.

PCAD id: 1512