Longfellow School


1500 Derby Street map it


designated in 1995

Longfellow School

William C. Hays, Architect, 1922
James W. Plachek, Architect, 1930
John Reid, Jr., Architect, 1935
ELS/Elbasani & Logan Architects, 1998

As electric street car transportation improved and expanded in the early 20th-century, this section of Berkeley became a desirable residential area. In 1905 a wood frame school with four classrooms was moved to this site to meet the needs of a growing population. A larger brick-faced building was constructed in 1922 and enlarged in 1930. In the mid-1930s it was altered for earthquake safety. The Depression-era, Moderne-style school had spacious classrooms, fireplaces in the kindergarten and library, and a grand auditorium. After Longfellow became a middle school, the building was once again remodeled and a new building along California Street was added in 1999. The school was named for the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).

Berkeley Historical Plaque Project

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1868), photo Julia Margaret Cameron

  • Longfellow School front facade (2010), photo R. Kehlmann

  • Longfellow signature

Photo credit abbreviations:
BAHA: Berkeley Architectural Heritage Assn.
BHS: Berkeley Historical Society