Ann Erdman is the Public Information Officer for the City of Pasadena, California.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011
Mystery History -- Solved!
Well, I stumped everybody this week. In the 1934 photo above, demolition of the Horace Mann building at Pasadena High School is in full swing where Pasadena City College stands today.
There were orange groves and the old Grant School at the 18-acre site when construction of the PHS campus began, and the campus began to take shape the following year with three primary structures including the Horace Mann building.
Here's the Horace Mann building under construction:
And the completed structure:
This closeup shows the spectacular architectural elements:
And this aerial shot illustrates the huge scale of the building:
A population boom in Pasadena after World War I -- 45,000 grew to 76,000 -- created the need for major expansion of the school system. After the passage of a bond issue in 1924 for this purpose, the school board established Pasadena Junior College on the Pasadena High School campus.
The Field Act, passed by the California legislature after a series of earthquakes in the early 1930s, stated that governing bodies of school districts could be held criminally liable if students were injured in subsequent temblors. The report from a structural survey in July 1933 recommended that the Horace Mann building be stripped down to its steel frame.
After the demolition was completed, 50 temporary tents were set up to house classrooms.