Postcard: Nordhoff High School (1910)

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Posted by Tyler Suchman on May 27, 2011



Nordhoff Union High School
. In 1910, Norman F. Marsh designed this bungalow style building (above) to house the new Nordhoff High School. Marsh designed it so that, “every window will extend to the floor and will swing open their entire length. The pupils will in ordinary weather practically work out of doors.” At the time, this was a revolutionary concept in school architecture. Charles M. Pratt, a wealthy Eastern oil tycoon who owned a home in Ojai, hired Marsh to design a separate manual training and domestic arts building at the school. Marsh was a successful Los Angeles architect who also designed Venice Beach, the University of Redlands, and the Parkhurst Building in Santa Monica. The new Nordhoff High School campus opened in October of 1911 with forty students.


The above is an excerpt from Ojai: A Postcard History, by Richard Hoye, Tom Moore, Craig Walker, and available at Ojai Valley Museum or at Amazon.com.

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Craig Walker May 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I remember taking several classes in this building. One drawback of the windows extending to the floor and opening their entire length: students would sometimes jump out the back windows when the teacher was writing on the board! I graduated in 1966, so this building would have been removed the next year when Matilija and Nordhoff swapped campuses.

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