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Old Posted Dec 15, 2011, 8:38 PM
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GaylordWilshire GaylordWilshire is offline
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Harvard Hall (left) and Rugby Hall at the original Harvard School campus, Western at Venice, Los Angeles



Harvard-Westlake School

Per the Harvard-Westlake site, some history:

"Harvard School, a military school with 42 boys, was established in 1900 by Grenville C. Emery in a barley field at what is now the corner of Western Avenue and Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles. Mr. Emery received permission from Charles W. Eliot, Harvard University President, to use the Harvard name.

"In 1911, Harvard School became a non-profit corporation when Mr. Emery transferred ownership to the Episcopal Church. By the mid 1920’s Harvard had outgrown its original campus. A plan to reestablish the school on a site near Westwood was abandoned because of the worsening Depression. With a $25,000 loan for down payment by aviation pioneer Donald W. Douglas, founder of Douglas Aircraft Company, the school moved to the defunct Hollywood Country Club on Coldwater Canyon in 1937 and became an independent, self-governing school.

"The end of the ’60s saw dramatic changes in Harvard School. Boarding was discontinued and military training was dropped. In 1969, Christopher Berrisford became Harvard School’s first lay headmaster since Mr. Emery, and its enrollment surpassed 800 by 1987 when Thomas C. Hudnut became Headmaster.

..."In October 1989, the Boards of Trustees of the two schools agreed to merge the schools with Mr. Hudnut named as Harvard-Westlake’s first Headmaster. Full coeducation began in September 1991, with an enrollment approaching 1600, grades 7 - 9 at Westlake's North Faring Road location and grades 10 - 12 at Harvard's Coldwater Canyon campus. In the fall of 2008, an expanded and renovated Middle School campus opened at the North Faring Road location."

Some might say that Grenville Emery's asking Charles Eliot for permission to use the Harvard name as an example of the need of a developing Los Angeles to legitimize itself with East Coast references. I'll never forget a line of Mrs. Smythe (formerly Smith) in that cinema classic Bright Eyes: "I'm very anxious to show [my sister] that we can do things exactly as well out here as they do in the east."

There seems to be no trace of the Harvard campus on Western Avenue.
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