Eagle Rock -- Eagle Rock Elementary's long, rich history dates back to the late 19th Century, with its structures evolving with the community it serves.
The school has called numerous locations in Eagle Rock home, starting with a barn in the 1880s, according to the Eagle Rock Valley Historical Society’s website.
Volunteers eventually built a schoolhouse, which the community quickly outgrew. In 1917, a school was constructed that makes up the core of the school’s current campus.
Architect John C. Austin designed the Italian Renaissance-style building. It was constructed by Edwards and Wildey, a major construction company that built homes in Eagle Rock and was involved in the creation of several prominent buildings in downtown Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, according to the Historical Society’s website.
As the school’s enrollment grew, so did the campus. In 1923, as many as 600 students attended Eagle Rock Elementary, according to principal Rene Baez. At its peak, the school welcomed 1,092 students during the 2000-2001 school year. The current enrollment is 742.
A striking feature of the school is the trees around the campus, many visible in photos of the school taken in the late 1920s. The school’s “PTA planted the deodars during the presidency of Valley Knudsen,” according to the Historical Society’s website. Aside from being a beautification advocate, Knudsen, along with her husband, owned the Knudsen Dairies.
Following the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, Eagle Rock Elementary underwent renovation work, transforming the school’s architectural style to Spanish Revival, Baez said.
Architectural details include a red tile roof; arched, double-hung windows; rounded arch openings, and arcades. The façade of the main entrance has a section that pushes out and resembles a small balcony.
In recent years, portions of the school’s interior walls were decorated with colorful tiles crafted by the school’s students, Baez said
Baez added that parents have played a significant role in raising funds to support the school, including the addition of trees and other landscaping features.
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