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

Designers: Fitzhugh, Thornton, Architect (firm); Thornton Fitzhugh Sr. (architect)

Dates: constructed 1937

2 stories

6600 South San Pedro Street
South Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90003

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map

Building History

This second elementary school on 66th Street in Los Angeles, was completed in 1937, at a time when the US economy was beginning to show signs of life following the darkest years of the Depression between 1932 and 1935. The building had a massive appearance, with stark geometric shapes and little historicizing ornamentation. The massiveness was due to its reinforced concrete construction, produced to resist earthquakes in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Santa Barbara (1925) and Long Beach (1933). Following these events, schools in CA were overbuilt to protect children in case of future temblors. Architect Thornton Fitzhugh (1864-1933) began preparations for a new school as early as 1924, as reported by the Southwest Builder and Contractor on 07/04/1924.

Building Notes

The school has remarkable Streamline Moderne styling, a mode very popular among architects in Los Angeles. Characteristic features of the Streamline Moderne were the school's rounded corners contrasted with blocky spartan forms, bands of windows, and horizontal "lines of force" incised into the walls to suggest speed and modernity. A master of the style was Stiles O. Clements (1883-1966) of the architectural firm, Morgan, Walls and Clements, but others became very adept at it, as well. Clements's Jefferson High School (1935) also in South Los Angeles, was a Streamline Moderne masterpiece. The 66th Street Elementary School's architect, Fitzhugh, was a generation older than Clements, and had made his name designing revival style buildings during the 1900-1930 period.

PCAD id: 19502