History of Berkeley Arts Magnet

Berkeley Arts Magnet at Whitter – School History

  • Whittier, one of the City’s original schools, was built as a six-room school house in 1892 with funds from the City’s first school bond. the original architect was A.H. Broad. The first principal was Miss Juliet H. Lumbard. The original property was smaller than the present site.
  • By 1900 there were approximately 257 students.
  • In 1908 S.D. Waterman, one of the first superintendents, resigned as superintendent in order to become the principal of Whittier School.
  • By 1926 there were three buildings and a total of 19 classrooms. there were 390 students enrolled.
  • In 1939 the original buildings were demolished and a new building constructed. The school was designed by Dragon, Schmidts, Hardman and Officer Associated Architects. The school was sometimes called the Whittier-University School after the old University Elementary School (1414 Walnut) was abandoned as an elementary school and the students were sent to Whittier School.
  • In 1984 the school was closed. In 1985 the Arts Magnet program moved from the Longfellow Annex to the Whittier School.
  • In 1991 the school was vacated because it was seismically unsafe. The children were temporarily housed in portables placed on the site. In 1994-95 the building was retrofitted. The district hired Chester Bowles, Jr. and Associates to design the retrofit. The renovated school reopened in 1995.