AKA: Los Angeles Unified School District, University High School, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles Unified School District, Sawtelle High School, Los Angeles, CA

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

Designers: Russell and Alpaugh, Architects (firm); Norman Walton Alpaugh (architect); Clarence H. Russell (architect)

Dates: constructed 1923-1924

2 stories

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11800 Texas Avenue
Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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Building History

Los Angeles architectural firm of Russell and Alpaugh drew up plans for the $350,000 high school that contained an auditorium, gym, cafeteria, industrial arts room, and 24 classrooms in 07/1923. The name was changed From Warren G. Harding High School to University High School just after the University of California, Los Angeles Campus moved to Westwood from East Hollywood in 1927-1929.

By 1929, Warren Harding's name had been discredited by Teapot Dome and other scandals during his administration. He was not seen as a proper role model for young people by this time. According to the high school's web site, the name "University" was selected "...because it became a site where teachers-in-training from nearby UCLA worked as assistant teachers." (See "University High School History,"Accessed 11/16/2010.)

Building Notes

Early press notices referred to the high school as the "Sawtelle High School."

Two stories high, the brick school shared its Italian Romanesque styling with nearby UCLA which was being planned at about the same time.


The school's auditorium and gymnasium were condemned and torn down following damage caused by the 02/09/1971 Sylmar Earthquake. A gymnasium was reconstructed in the early 1980s. In c. 2010, the Music Building and West Gymnasium were also to be demolished because they rested directly on a fault line, which violated building codes for schools.

PCAD id: 6263