Sunday, November 7, 2010

George Washington High School, San Francisco

GWHS, San FranciscoGeorge Washington High School was designed by Miller & Pflueger and dates from 1936.

The minimal decoration on the facade consists of buff coloured tile sections between the windows, a repeated motif of a mirrored three-pronged design and a row of red and pink tiles near the roofline.

GWHS, San Francisco

GWHS, San Francisco

GWHS, San FranciscoThere are square columns above the entrance and between these columns and the windows there are rectangular stylised plaques representing various subjects including engineering, music and writing. Above the doors there are three panels representing Invention, Statesmanship and Literature. Each panel bears a different man's face. Statesmanship is represented by George Washington but I confess that my lack of knowledge of American figures inhibits me from identifying the other two figures.

GWHS, San FranciscoAt one end of the football field there is a vast frieze by Sargent Johnson showing various forms of athletics and sports. There is rowing, diving, volleyball, baseball, basketball, wrestling, tennis, hockey, football, archery, fencing, boxing, javelin, running, steeplechase and golf. The frieze stretches the width of the field behind the goal posts.

GWHS, San Francisco

GWHS, San Francisco

At the other end sits the Eagles scoreboard with a bridge in the background.

GWHS, San Francisco

San Francisco & 20th Century Design, Tour Booklet, organised by The 20th Century Society of the Carolina Mountains


  1. Your pictures, David, make justice to this beautiful building! What a nice place for one to spend the teen years!
    I think the other two faces on the doorway pediment are Thomas Edison representing "invention" and Ernest Hemingway representing "literature".
    Valentin M.

  2. Thank you Valentin. Thanks for your suggetions regarding the 'Invention' and 'Literature' faces above the doorway. Both very credible representations.

  3. It is William Shakespeare representing literature.

    1. It could be. My picture is at quite an oblique angle so the face is a bit distorted but Shakepeare certainly would be fitting.