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

Designers: Franklin and Kump and Associates (firm); Kump and Falk, Architect and Engineer (firm); Mark Falk (civil engineer); Charles Henry Franklin (architect); Ernest Joseph Kump Jr. (architect); K. Narbett (architectural designer)

Dates: constructed 1939-1940

1200 Pleasant Hill Road
Lafayette, CA 94549-2623

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Contra Costa County


With its repeated rows of linear classroom buildings, designed for easy expansion, the Acalanes High School plan became one of the better known California high school plans of the pre-World War II era. The Museum of Modern Art, amongst other critics, touted the design's Modernity and praticality. It was widely illustrated in professional journals during the 1940s.

Building History

Frank A. Payne and Son served as the general contractor in 1939-1940.

Building Notes

The high school building was built at cost of $3.72 per square foot in 1940, a much lower cost than for other schools in California at that time;

In 2005, this public school served grades 9-12 and enrolled 1342 students. Tel: (925) 935-2600 (2005).


Kump planned the Acalanes High School to grow incrementally, with a structure of rows being built from the original core. Three northeast buildings were built in 1940; three more buildings were erected in 1941 to the west, mirroring the first three.

In 1948, a southeast shop building and three more classroom structures lining the south were built. A year later, in 1949, a final two classroom rectangles and a library, lined the southwest; a fifth expansion was designed to include an auditorium, music room, cafeteria on the farthest northeast corner of the school property, and girl's gym on the far southwest.

Kump's design interest in Acalanes Union High School until 1956, according to the University of California, Berkeley's College of Environmental Design, Environmental Design Archive's project list for Kump. (See Online Archive of, "Ernest J. Kump Collection 2005-19, University of California, Berkeley. College of Environmental Design. Environmental Design Archives March 2013," accessed 02/28/2024.)

PCAD id: 648