Farmdale School Brings El Sereno History to Life – University Times

Residents are working to have the building added to the National Register of Historic Places

When Jorge Garcia attended El Sereno Middle School, he always wondered about the old wood-frame school on campus. site but I never heard much about it.

More recently, when his children started attending school, he discovered the 133-year-old history of Farmdale School. He fell in love with it and teamed up with other residents to preserve the history of what is one of the oldest school buildings in Los Angeles.

“Now that I know more about it, I think, ‘Wow. What a beautiful building, it’s a shame that others don’t know about it,’ he said. where we come from and the school represents this link with our past.”

So, in February 2021, Garcia and other residents of El Sereno began the process to try to put it on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

Many would prefer to raze old buildings for new housing and other uses. But preservation proponents believe that neighborhoods like El Sereno are rich in buildings and spaces that deserve to be preserved for the memories, times and changes they represent.

While preservation opponents say historic buildings should be razed to make way for other community needs like high-density housing, proponents believe Los Angeles neighborhoods like El Sereno are rich in buildings and spaces. history and in the memories, moments and changes they symbolize. Little by little, these memories fade but the preservation of landmarks protects this history, ensuring that it is not forgotten.

Historical Significance of Farmdale School

the Half-timbered school from 1889 has architectural significance as a Victorian building in Neo-Queen Anne style. It is also one of three remaining schools from that era in the Los Angeles Unified School District, according to historical society co-founder Jorge Garciawho co-founded the historical society. There’s another in Southeast Los Angeles and another in the Valley.

Farmdale represents a significant transition in the history of the United States: the shift from homeschooling to students taking teacher-led classes. The shift from the era of homeschooling to students being in classrooms together, taught by a teacher.

Over time, primary education became compulsory and around 1918 it has become mandatory in all US states.

Local history buffs also appreciate Farmdale because its layout set it apart from other schools of the time: it was a two-classroom building. Crossing the entrance, the smaller classroom was on the left and the larger on the right. Over time, the small classroom became the teacher’s or principal’s office, Garcia said.

Farmdale appears to be the only LAUSD school to still have its original bell, Garcia said. Conservationists found the bell but not its original ringtone. With the help of a janitor, they discovered the ringer “just sat in a closet all these years,” Garcia said.

The Roots of School Preservation

According to historical society.

“Unfortunately, Dr. Newman died just before it became a museum, so he never saw his work come to fruition,” Garcia said.

The effort to recognize the school as a historic landmark after the historical society asked residents to rank the top five places in the neighborhood that should be preserved. School came out on top, Garcia said.

Originally, organizers proposed a larger preservation district that would include El Sereno Middle School, which had served as Woodrow Wilson High School until a new campus was built.

“The 1968 student walkouts happened at Wilson High School … and so we wanted to have a preservation district: the school, the college, and also the auditorium where the student walkouts started,” Garcia said.

The preservation process has started

Unfortunately, for conservativesLAUSD officials disagreed with the idea of a preservation district. But they would support the historic nomination preservation from school. Historical society organizers hope that in April they will receive confirmation that the school has been accepted into the National Register of Historic Places.

The historic nomination is currently being reviewed by state historic officials before being forwarded to the “custodian” of the National Register of Historic Places for final approval and listing.

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