UHEF & Uni News


Jan, 2018

Uni in the aftermath of the 1933 Long Beach earthquake

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[Posted January 25, 2018] UHEF co-president Judy Wolfenstein received a note from 1939 graduate Mits Kayagowe, who actually attended Uni for five years – from the eighth grade in 1935 through 12th, in 1939 … the last class to graduate prior to the outbreak of World War II!

Among the highlights were memories of how the campus changed after a major earthquake:

“After the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, the main administration bldg. was unusable so the city had to import half-canvas, parklike cabins for classrooms. These were lined up on the eastern side of the school grounds at the top level alongside Barrington Ave.

“Except for rainy weather, the canvas ‘windows’ had to be rolled up because the cabins were almost unbearable when filled with 35-40 students and no air except from the door. However, the teachers had a rough time trying to keep order when it was warm because, if the ‘windows’ were rolled up, you could wave at friends as far as four ‘classrooms’ away!! How enjoyable were the canvas classrooms?!!!”

Uni got away lucky enough in ‘33 as the Administration Building was repaired; the elegant auditorium along Westgate Avenue was red-tagged and torn down after the 1971 Sylmar quake.

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