At a well-attended November 4 presentation and ceremony in the Alhambra Civic Center Library’s Reese Hall, Alhambra Preservation Group honored Emery Park Elementary School with a 2015 Heritage Award. This marked the first time that one of Alhambra’s public buildings has been a recipient of APG’s prestigious award, which celebrates the preservation of historic architecture.
Built in 1931 in the Georgian Revival Style, the school was designed by Alhambra-based architect, Richard Farrell, and built by a local construction firm, Steed Brothers Construction. “Emery Park Elementary School is an important local landmark, designed and built by members of our community during the Great Depression,” stated Christine Olson, President of the Alhambra Preservation Group, in making the presentation. “APG is proud to recognize the Alhambra Unified School District for its careful stewardship of this impressive historic building.”
Built in the center of a 400-acre tract of land owned by a New York tobacco tycoon, Charles Goodwin Emery, Emery Park Elementary School was constructed to accommodate the school-aged children of families who had purchased homes in Emery Park during the 1920s, a boom time for real estate in Alhambra. “At the completion of construction, the community was justifiably proud of the two-story brick school building and its modern features,” continued Ms. Olson. Opening day was September 14, 1931 with the Alhambra Post-Advocate boasting that the school was “the finest in the Southland, providing the most complete facilities and conveniences for an elementary education to be found anywhere.”
“Emery Park Elementary School has changed a great deal in the 84 years since it was built, but its core educational mission has not changed and neither has its architectural character,” stated Adele Andrade-Stadler, President of the Alhambra Unified School District. “We thank Alhambra Preservation Group for recognizing Emery Park Elementary and for shining a spotlight upon its unique and remarkable history.”