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Thursday, November 27, 2014

New Garfield High auditorium makes its debut

Garfield High, East Los Angeles

The new Jaime Escalante Auditorium | Jesse Saucedo

Photos by Jesse Saucedo

EAST LOS ANGELES — Seven years after Garfield High‘s historic auditorium was destroyed by an arson fire, the school on Saturday held a ribbon-cutting for a new theater  that school officials hope will trigger a revival of arts on the East L.A. campus.

The Jaime Escalante Auditorium and Memorial Plaza looks nothing like its predecessor, a 1925 building  with paneled ceilings, murals and chandeliers. Instead,  the starkly-modern, 1,400-seat auditorium provides the campus a cutting-edge, audio-visual system, broadcast production studio and a facade covered with large, colorful images of performers and Escalante, the acclaimed math teacher who taught at the school and inspired the making of the  film, “Stand And Deliver.” A circular plaza separates the auditorium from a new three-story building that includes classrooms and administrative offices on Sixth Street.

Construction of the new auditorium was delayed by a dispute with the school district’s insurers.  The auditorium and new classrooms and offices had been expected to cost $54 million.

“The Garfield community is ecstatic over the ribbon cutting event of our new auditorium,” Garfield’s Principal Jose Huerta said in a school district statement. ” Our students will finally be able to showcase their talents in music, drama, and video production in a state-of-the art venue. The arts will come alive once again at Garfield Senior High School.”

East Los Angeles, Garfield High

Photo by Jesse Saucedo

East Los Angeles, Garfield High

Photo by Jesse Saucedo

East Los Angeles, Garfield High

Photo by Jesse Saucedo

East LA, Garfied High

Photo by Jesse Saucedo

East LA, Garfied High

Photo by Jesse Saucedo

East LA, Garfied High

Photo by Jesse Saucedo

East LA, Garfied High

Photo by Jesse Saucedo



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7 comments

  1. Who was the architect for the new auditorium building? It’s a striking piece of design. Every architect deserves to be credited for their work.

  2. Great article on the rebuilding of the auditorium at Garfield High School. While I am aware of the great accomplishments of Mr. Escalante, please know that Mr. Harold Mannywether dedicated his life to the students at Garfield HS for more than 30 years in the field of music which ties directly to the auditorium. Maybe it should have been named in honor of both men.

  3. I’m not a big fan because it doesn’t honor any of the original architecture. Garfield High now will look like so many other LA high schools built during the early part of the last century and since updated, a hodgepodge of different architectural styles that make no sense.

    What a waste of an opportunity.

  4. This architect for this project is gkkworks.

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