Beach School (Portland, Oregon)

Beach School (Portland, Oregon)
LC Subject
Architecture, American Architecture--United States
J. V. Beach Elementary School (Portland, Oregon)
Jones, George H.
Creator Display
George Howell Jones (architect, 1887-1950)
This image is included in Building Oregon: Architecture of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, a digital collection which provides documentation about the architectural heritage of the Pacific Northwest.
Oregon Historic Site Form. Prepared by Iris Eschen.
University of Oregon Libraries
1920-1929 1940-1949
Style Period
Gothic Revival Collegiate Gothic
Work Type
architecture (object genre) built works views (visual works) exterior views public schools (buildings)
Portland >> Multnomah County >> Oregon >> United States Multnomah County >> Oregon >> United States Oregon >> United States United States
Street Address
1710 N Humboldt Street
1928 1948
In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted
Brick; Cast stone
Building Oregon
Primary Set
Building Oregon
University of Oregon
Oregon Historic Site Form Beach School 1710 Humboldt St Portland, Multnomah County block nbr: lot nbr: tax lot nbr: township: range: section: 1/ 4: LOCATION AND PROPERTY NAME elig. evaluation: eligible/ significant primary orig use: School secondary orig use: primary style: Late Gothic Revival secondary style: primary siding: Standard Brick secondary siding: Cast Stone plan type: School ( General) Portland historic name: Beach School primary constr date: 1928 secondary date: 1948 height (# stories): 3 total # ineligible resources: 2 ( optional-- use for major addns) current/ other names: J. V. Beach Elementary School ( c.) ( c.) orig use comments: prim style comments: Collegiate Gothic sec style comments: location descr: assoc addresses: vcnty address: ( remote sites) siding comments: PROPERTY CHARACTERISTICS farmstead/ cluster name: zip: total # eligible resources: 1 apprx. addrs resource type: Building NR status: RLS survey date: 6/ 25/ 2009 external site #: 140 ( ID# used in city/ agency database) survey project name or other grouping name comments/ notes: HRI Rank II. ILS survey date: 6/ 25/ 2009 Gen File date: SHPO INFO FOR THIS PROPERTY NR date listed: GROUPINGS / ASSOCIATIONS Optional Information 1710 N Humboldt St Multnomah County ( former addresses, intersections, etc.) architect: Jones, George H. builder: NR date listed: ( indiv listed only; see Grouping for hist dist) 106 Project( s) PPS Historic Building Assessment 2009 Survey & Inventory Project North elevation Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 1 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Beach School 1710 Humboldt St Portland, Multnomah County ARCHITECTURAL / PROPERTY DESCRIPTION ( Include expanded description of the building/ property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings, and alterations) Description Summary Situated in the primarily single family residential Overlook neighborhood in North Portland, Beach School is located at 1710 North Humboldt Street. The 5.3- acre campus consists of a two- story school building ( 140A) with a ground floor basement, a detached classroom building ( 140B), and an L-shaped portable ( 140P1). Built in 1928, the Collegiate Gothic style building is a reinforced concrete structure clad with brick veneer and cast stone ornamentation. The H- shaped corridor plan of the primary building sits on a concrete foundation. Facilities located in the primary building include classrooms, an auditorium, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, a library, and an administrative office. Architectural Description Situated in the primarily single family residential neighborhood of Overlook, Beach School is located at 1710 North Humboldt Street. The 5.3- acre campus consists of a two- story school building ( 140A) with a ground floor basement, a detached classroom building ( 140B), and an L- shaped portable ( 140P1). The school faces North Humboldt Street, with play fields and playgrounds south and west of the main school building. South of the main building is a one story 13- classroom annex, and a one- story three- classroom Head Start facility. The school’s parking area is located to the west of the main building. The two- story school building with a ground floor basement is approached from the north side. Clad in variegated brick laid in an all stretcher bond, the reinforced concrete building rests on a poured concreted foundation. A parapet masks the flat roof that covers the H- shaped building. Designed in the Collegiate Gothic style, the building features cast stone ornamentation including a belt course below the roof line, door surrounds, and decorative panels. The panels are located over the doors and above the cast stone belt course. A central bay, ornamented by three wood frame multi- light four point arched windows, projects from the front ( north) elevation. The fenestration consists primarily of symmetrically placed modern metal frame windows with a horizontal sliding opening at the bottom of the window. Divided into three horizontal sections, the upper section of each window is blocked off with louver vents. Some of the wood frame rectangular shape windows on the stairwell landings between the 1st and 2nd floors are intact. The recessed entries feature cast stone surrounds with four point arches - a character defining detail of the Collegiate Gothic style. The original wooden fixed pane entry doors are capped with semi-elliptical windows. Two L- shaped buildings are located to the south of the main school facility. Constructed in several stages beginning in 1951 the annex is located on the southeast corner of the campus. Three portables were added to the west side of the campus in several stages beginning in 1967. Both wood frame buildings are covered by flat roofs. Cladding consists of vertical board and batten siding. Fenestration is provided by metal frame hinged windows. The interior layout of the main school building school consists of a modified H- shaped corridor. Shorter hallways lead from the front entry to the main hallway. The second floor hallway features skylights. The double- loaded hallways retain their original configuration, height, built- in metal lockers, unpainted wood molding and framing, and wooden display cases. Flooring consists of original linoleum tiles. Tubular fluorescent light fixtures are suspended from the acoustic tile ceilings. Single leaf wooden doors provide access to the classrooms from the hallways. Some of the first and second story landings exhibit original wood frame windows. Most of the stairwells retain their original concrete steps and landings, plaster veneer walls, wooden railings and molding, and steam radiators. The auditorium and gymnasium are located in parallel bays that project from the center of the school. Although the auditorium retains its stage, the original light fixtures and the seating have been removed. The original wood frame, semi- circular/ arched, multi- light windows are intact. The gymnasium, located on the first floor, retains its original configuration and double height. The flat ceiling is covered with spray- on insulation and supported by steel trusses. The facility has concrete walls, radiators on the wall, wood frame, and 18 light, fixed pane windows. The classrooms are rectangular with their original configuration and height. Some of the rooms are provided with an adjacent teacher workroom and storage area. Standard features include built- in cabinetry, closets for storing coats and supplies, marble window sills, and sliding blackboards. All of the rooms have plaster veneer walls, tiled flooring, and tubular fluorescent light fixtures suspended from the acoustic tile ceilings. The building is heated by steam boilers located in the ground floor basement behind the cafeteria. Radiators with metal covers are found in the hallways, stairwells, and in the classrooms. Grilles are also set in the wall. The classroom annex and the Head Start facility have narrow hallways with a low acoustic tile ceiling, fluorescent ceiling lights and painted molding and framing. The classrooms in the Head Start facility connect to a central reception area. Classrooms for both facilities have minimal built- in furnishings and cabinetry. Tubular fluorescent lights are suspended from acoustic tile ceilings. Flooring in both buildings consists of linoleum tile. Alterations/ Integrity The first major addition/ modification to the school campus occurred with the construction of the classroom annex in 1951. Subsequent additions to the annex occurred in 1953 and 1990. The Head Start facility was constructed in 1967 with other classrooms added in 1968 and 1988. The first addition/ modification to the main building occurred in 1951 with the construction of the cafeteria in the basement. In 1976, an interior remodel resulted in changes to the auditorium, library, and some of the classrooms and hallways. In 1989, metal frame windows replaced most of the original wood frame multi- light windows ( Portland Facility Profile). Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 2 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Beach School 1710 Humboldt St Portland, Multnomah County HISTORY ( Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period [ preferably to the present]) RESEARCH INFORMATION Beach School retains its integrity with many character defining features intact. Although the majority of the windows were replaced, the original wood frame windows have been retained in the auditorium, gymnasium, and a couple of the stairwell landings. Despite several interior remodels, many of the interior finishes are intact. The additions, located to the rear of the primary building, are compatible with the building’s historic design, features, and materials. The school’s distinctive brick veneer, cast stone belt course, panel and door surrounds, and other cast stone ornamentation are intact. Statement of Significance In response to growing development in North Portland, the district acquired the property at 1710 North Humboldt Street for $ 21,350.00 in 1919. The original facility consisted of 13 portables. The original building was constructed in 1928 for $ 236,116.00 ( PPS School Chronology Binder). The new school was named for Jarvis Varnel Beach, who served on the Portland school board for 15 years ( Sydney 1976: 236; Oregon Journal. 03- 21- 1929; Oregonian. 03- 21- 1929). The Beach School facility was part of a dramatic building program begun by Portland Public Schools in the early 1900s. Gradually influenced by John Dewey’s Progressive Education Movement, the school board was responding to changing city demographics and ideas concerning school safety, sanitation, and child centered instructional methods beginning in the first decade of the 1900s ( Rippa, 1997: passim; Cremin 1961: 135- 153; Cubberley 1915: 283- 290). By 1905, it became increasingly clear that dramatic increases in school- age children outstripped the district’s existing classroom capacity and existing schools could not effectively serve areas of the city with new residential development ( Cubberley 1915: 283- 285, 288- 290). After several well- publicized school fires elsewhere in the United States, calls for a more fundamental change in the building stock of the district began as early as 1906 when Mayor Lane called for the construction of new “ fireproof” school buildings ( Oregonian, 10- 31- 1906). In 1910, various city neighborhood “ advancement clubs” joined forces to discuss the unfit school buildings in their respective neighborhoods ( Oregonian 07- 31- 1910). Soon after this meeting, on August 16, 1910, the Portland City Council enacted a requirement that all schools constructed after January 1, 1911 would have to be of fire proof construction ( Powers and Corning 1937: 183). Soon after this meeting, on August 16, 1910, the Portland City Council enacted a requirement that all schools constructed after January 1, 1911 would have to be of fire proof construction ( Powers and Corning 1937: 183). By 1914, in the first joint meeting between Portland city officials, Multnomah County Commissioners, and the school board, officials agreed to work with building code officials to encourage the use of fireproof construction and to implement fire safety measures in all existing and future schools ( Oregonian, 03- 31- 1914). In 1908, Portland Public Schools created the Bureau of Properties in an effort to centralize the management of the district’s various properties ( Powers and Corning 1937: 182). Within this office, the District architect took on a more formalized role in the design and maintenance of school facilities. Two of the most influential district architects during this period included Floyd Naramore and George Jones, who designed a majority of the from 1908 to 1932. Like Beach, these new school buildings were often constructed of brick and concrete and were one or two stories in height. To speed the construction of the new schools and to anticipate later growth in the neighborhood, these new buildings were often constructed in units sometimes referred to as extensible schools ( Powers and Corning 1937: 182). The buildings also contained more differentiated and increasingly specialized instructional spaces such as libraries, gymnasiums, science rooms, music rooms, and assembly spaces ( Powers and Corning 1937: 182). The architect of Beach School, George Jones, was well versed in the design of school facilities through his role as Superintendent of building for the district. The son of Thomas J. Jones, who had also served as district architect for many years, George Jones was born in Portland in 1887. After attending Oregon State College for two years, George Jones obtained a degree in architecture in 1913. Jones worked in New York for several years before serving in the U. S. Army Combat Engineers during World War I. Following his return to Portland in 1920, Jones obtained his architecture license. He quickly assumed the position of school architect after his predecessor Floyd A. Naramore became district architect for the Seattle School District. In his role as district architect, George Jones designed about 25 new schools and supervised the construction of additions for many existing building. Following his tenure with the Portland Schools, Jones went into private practice in Portland. With architect Harold Marsh, he established the firm of Jones & Marsh. Throughout his career Jones continued to specialize in school design, with projects in Pendleton, Klamath Falls and Oregon City. The firm of Jones & Marsh also designed additions to Roosevelt High School in Portland, buildings at Concordia Academy, and the Engineering wing and coliseum at Oregon State College in Corvallis ( Ritz 2002: 217). For the design of Beach School Jones utilized cast stone details in the Collegiate Gothic style. The style, along with Colonial Revival and Classical Revival styles, was viewed as inspirational and appropriate for educational settings ( Betelle 1919: 28; Sibley 1923: 66; Patton 1967: 1- 8). Beach Elementary School provides a good example of the schools designed by George Jones during his tenure as Superintendent of Building of Portland Public Schools. The 1951 annex and the collection of portables are modest in scale and located to the south primary school building. The school retains its original H- shaped plan, major spaces, and many interior finishes. Although the windows were replaced, the cast stone details and variegated brick cladding are intact. In comparison with other Portland schools during the same period and constructed of similar styles, Beach Elementary School retains its integrity and is therefore eligible for the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A as an example of school planning. The school is also eligible under Criterion C as an example of the work of George Jones in the Greek Revival style. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 3 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Beach School 1710 Humboldt St Portland, Multnomah County Title Records Sanborn Maps Obituaries City Directories Census Records Biographical Sources Newspapers Building Permits Property Tax Records SHPO Files State Archives State Library Local Histories Interviews Historic Photographs Local Library: Multnomah County Library University Library: Portland State University Library Historical Society: Oregon Historical Society Other Repository: PPS Archives Bibliography: Bibliography Betelle, James O. “ Architectural Styles as Applied to School Buildings.” American School Board Journal. Vol. 58 ( April 1919). Cremin, Lawrence. The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876- 1957. New York: A. Knopt, 1961. Cubberley, Ellwood Patterson. The Portland Survey: A Textbook on City School Administration Based on a Concrete Study. Yonkers-on- Hudson, NY: World Book Co., 1915. Oregon Journal. “ Cornerstone Laying Rites are Held at Beach Schoolhouse.” 03- 21- 1929. Oregonian. “ Change Favored in School Buildings.” 3- 31- 1914. Oregonian. “ Cornerstone Laid.” 03- 21- 1929 Oregonian. “ Mayor Lane and the Schools.” 10- 31- 1906. Oregonian. “ School Buildings are Called Unfit.” 7- 31- 1910. Portland Public Schools. Schools Chronology Binder. _______. Beach Elementary School Facility Plan. _______. Beach Elementary School Facility Profile. Powers, Alfred and Howard McKinley Corning, History of Education in Portland. [ Portland]: Work Projects Administration, 1937. Rippa, Alexander. Education in a Free Society: An American History. New York: Longman, 1997. Sibley, Ernest. “ Why I Prefer the Colonial Style.” School Board Journal: Vol. 66 ( January 1923). Snyder, Eugene E. Portland Names and Neighborhoods. Their Historic Origins. Portland: Binforrd & Mort Publishing; 1st edition 1979. ( Check all of the basic sources consulted and cite specific important sources) Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 4 of 4 North elevation front entry North elevation auditorium North elevation entry South ( rear) elevation North elevation front entry Beach School Exterior Photos ENTRIX, 2009 Classroom Corridor Classroom Classroom window treatment Stairwell landing Beach School Interior Photos ENTRIX, 2009 1924- 1928 Sanborn Fire Insurance Company Map, Portland, Oregon, Map 540. Arrow points to future location of J. V. Beach Public School. Updated to 1950, Sanborn Fire Insurance Company Map, Portland, Oregon, Map 540. Arrow points to J. V. Beach Public School. Beach School 1710 N Humboldt St, Portland OR, 97217 Building Periods 1. Main Building ( 140A), 1928 2. Classroom Add ( 140B), 1951 3. Classroom Add ( 140B), 1953 4. Clssrm Add ( 140P1), 1967 - 1988 5. Classroom Add ( 140B), 1990 N Humboldt St N Blandena St N Denver Ave N Concord Ave Undated photo looking southwest Aerial photo © 2009 Metro, Portland OR Imagery Date: July 12, 2007 View Site in Google Maps Historical Significance and Building Integrity Contrib: High Significance Contrib: Moderate Signif. Non- Contributing 0’ 50’ 100’ 200’ N sandy Blvd Lombard st powell Blvd 82nd ave MLK jr b lvd 1 2 3 4 5