Blue Oak School

The building that now houses the Blue Oak School was designed by renowned Napa architect Luther Turton, who also designed the Goodman Library and many other prominent Napa homes and buildings. The school was originally established in 1909 as the Washington Primary School.[1] The lot upon which Washington Primary was built was an amalgamation of two older lots; one of the lots originally belonged to the Polk Street School, a one-room school house dating back to at least 1879.[2] The architectural footprint of Washington Primary and the original Polk Street School are very similar. Between 1933 and 1947 the building was used as the Manual Arts & Sciences School, where classes like cooking and sewing were taught. Between 1948 and 1950, Polk Street School was again housed in the building. In 1953 the school was converted to a county administration building that housed the City & County Planning Commission, the County Engineering and Road Department, the County Veteran’s Office and Sims & Sims Court Reporters. After the County offices moved out in the early 1990s, the building fell into disrepair and was slated for demolition. Blue Oak School purchased the property in March of 2000 and began a rigorous rehabilitation of the building, stripping it down to the framework. The new building illustrates the school’s commitment to the surrounding community and environmental sustainability and houses classrooms for kindergarten through fifth grade students.

[1] Elizabeth Sagehorn, “Napa Valley’s Hardest Working Architect,” Napa Valley Life, undated , 54.

[2] Ellis A. Davis, Commercial Encyclopedia of the Pacific Southwest (Oakland, 1911).