Plaque

Whittier School

WEST & CENTRAL

2015 Virginia Street map it

CITY OF BERKELEY LANDMARK

designated in 1984

WHITTIER SCHOOL

Dragon, Schmidts, Hardman and Officer, Associated Architects, 1939
Chester Bowles, Jr. and Associates, 1994

This reinforced concrete Moderne-style building replaced an 1892 wood frame school. Faculty of the original school planted the five Coast Redwoods at the southwestern edge of the school grounds. The structure is notable for its molded detailing, fluted columns, curved balconies, and rooftop sun deck. Spacious classrooms with large operable windows expressed an early 20th century emphasis on the healthful benefits of sunlight and fresh air.

Changes to the building’s Depression-era design occurred during an extensive structural renovation in 1994. The school was named after the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).

Berkeley Historical Plaque Project
2000


  • John Greenleaf Whittier (ca. 1840–1860), Boston Public Library.

  • Whittier School Auditorium entry (2010), photo R. Kehlmann.

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