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Monday, February 25, 2008


This last weekend, I attended the really interesting Vintage Paper Collectors Show in Glendale, California. Just for fun I bought this post card of Los Angeles Polytechnic High School for the background files of Phyllis Hansen, who is building a biography of the California artist Orpha Klinker. Orpha attended Polytechnic HS sometime in the 1930s.
But, as is typical of historical exploring, the postcard itself created as many questions as it answered.
Phyllis wrote, the postcard "... is fascinating for a lots of reasons. I noticed the postmark is 1905, two years before the U.S. Postal Service sanctioned the message postcard allowing an address and a message on the back side. This was the start of the postcard boom, so cards prior to that are more rare.
Also interesting that this architect also did a building for the Chicago Exposition of 1893--but Daniel Burnham was the architect in charge of the whole fair. Cannot find if they were any relation, but the styles are so similar.
What became of this original campus, and where is the one located
today? Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley, I believe...?"
Gary Fredburg, Vice President of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley, found this information on the Valley's Polytechnic High School website:
"Our school had its beginning in 1897 as a commercial branch of the only high school in our city, the Los Angeles High School, located on the present site of the Board of Education. In 1905, Polytechnic was moved to the corner of Washington Blvd. and Flower St. in what is now downtown Los Angeles. Polytechnic is the second oldest high school in our city.
To commemorate our distinguished founder and first principal, John H. Francis was added to the school's name in 1935. The bust of John H. Francis (which is presently in our school's auditorium lobby) was first unveiled at the original Poly High School in 1931.
In 1955 it was decided to move Polytechnic to a new site where it could best serve the needs of our changing city. In February of 1957 Poly moved to its present site in the San Fernando Valley and opened its doors to new students. Our present campus was built at a cost of over six million dollars and covers forty acres.
Our school is a comprehensive high school, offering courses in all academic fields and several vocational areas, but we are proud of the name Poly as are thousands who have benefited from its educational opportunities in the past."

The San Fernando Valley deserves a great Museum of history and culture.


Anonymous said...
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