Greene & Greene Virtual Archives
Pasadena School District Longfellow Elementary School
Pasadena, California, 1911
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Pasadena School District Longfellow Elementary School
Pasadena , California

While Mortimer Fleishhacker Sr.'s Woodside residence kept Charles Greene fully occupied, Henry Greene undertook the design of the Longfellow Elementary School in Pasadena. Announced on 16 May 1911 in the Pasadena Star, it was to be "the first absolutely fireproof school in the city... [and] better ventilated and heated than any school building on the coast." Henry designed the two-story, reinforced concrete structure in a classical idiom—complete with Ionic pilasters and faultless symmetry--that was nearly unrecognizable as a product of the Greene & Greene firm. It was characteristic of Henry's innate sense of economy that he persuaded the school’s building committee to use shorter board lengths for flooring so that he could specify more and bigger windows to bring added natural light to the interiors. Substantially altered in the 1920s and '30s, one of the few remaining original features to show Henry Greene's careful specification of fixtures and materials is the nearly intact boys' lavatory facilities in the basement, with it's monumental, gentlemen's-club-like urinals and stall dividers of beautifully-figured marble.