Sep 17 2010

Piedmont Celebrates New Havens Elementary School

Update: A dedication ceremony honoring Mark Becker and Andrew Ball will be held on Sunday, October 17th. Details on location and time will be available shortly.

A century after Piedmont’s first school was dedicated on the site donated by Frank C. Havens, the community came to see the handsome new version.  The 2010 design by Mark Becker echos the original Albert Farr architecture in its vocabulary of tile roofs, ironwork, large arched windows, lanterns, murals and even a square tower above the administration offices.
By Susan Southworth.

Natural Beauty of California mural

Piedmont Celebrates New Havens Elementary School

The 1908-9 building was demolished in the 1950’s to make way for a larger “modern” complex which deviated from the Mediterranean Revival style established by Farr in the City Hall, Piedmont Church, fire and police building.

A party atmosphere prevailed on Sunday afternoon, August 29, as thousands in the community came together to admire and celebrate the on-time completion of the daunting project. “Oohs and aahs” echoed on all sides from the ornamental ironwork entrances, in the loggia, on the play fields and especially in front of the “Natural Beauty of California: Coastal and Inland” murals. The mosaic murals were created by Leslie Scott and every 2009-10 class K-5 student. Each is 8 feet by 16 feet and the pair dominates the main axis from Highland to Bonita Avenues.

Arches frame views of play field

Bag piper Neal Farmer called people to the formal program. Superintendent of Schools Constance Hubbard, Board of Education President Ray Gadbois, Havens Principal Tery Susman and Piedmont Education Foundation President Amal Smith all thanked everyone who made the construction project come together so successfully.

The Piedmont Highland Dancers performed on the stage of the Ellen Driscoll Playhouse as refreshments were offered by the Havens Parents Club.

The Loggia

Designer Mark Becker, ATI Architects & Engineers, and Andy Ball’s Webcor Builders created the new school complex.  Murakami/Nelson architects and Overaa Construction were responsible for the refurbished playhouse.

More photos of the Havens celebration.

reported by Susan Southworth

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