Re: Streetwise - A Corner of History

02/04/17 - posted by Frank Dunnigan

Dave—thanks for the heads-up. Some topics related to public schools that I’m still trying to research:

• Juan Crespi Home School—Opened at 24th & Quintara in 1951 as a K-4 school adjacent to Lincoln High School, with many of its students later moving on to Parkside School for Grades 5 and 6. The building was later absorbed by Lincoln High School and it now houses school district services. Other than Lorri Ungaretti’s great 2005 article (, there is very little information on this school.

• Noriega Home School—Another 1950s-era K-4 public school located at 44th and Noriega. Other than a short thread on the WNP message boards (,0), the K-4 era of this school has also become largely forgotten, even though it still operates as a SFUSD preschool. Also: Phoebe Apperson Hearst Home School at 42nd & Santiago and Jose Ortega Home School at Vernon & Sargent.

• Jefferson School—Following a May 1959 fire that destroyed the building on 19th Avenue, the students were relocated, mostly to Francis Scott Key Annex and to Lawton School. I’ve read the news accounts and seen the photos—the present auditorium is the only surviving wing of the old school. Does anyone remember what it was like to move to a new school or to have a lot of new classmates arrive suddenly?

• Cabrillo School—Located at 24th Avenue and Balboa, the school, founded in 1926, was rebuilt in 1974, but then closed by the SFUSD about 10 years ago, the result of an ever-declining number of children in San Francisco. Many students were part of military families living on the grounds of the Presidio when it was an active base. Any alums out there with memories of attending Cabrillo—either the old or the new campus?

• Herbert Hoover Junior High School—Opened in 1956, this school had a great musical reputation in the 1960s, and I recall hearing that Band was practically a requirement there. Anyone have any details on this?

• Lowell High School—WNP member Paul Rosenberg has shared stories about “old Lowell” vs. “new Lowell” and the transition after the campus moved from Hayes and Masonic to Lakeshore Drive in September of 1962. Anyone else?

Always looking for more info on these and other public schools, and I welcome emails with first-hand stories!

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