Fascinating features of San Francisco’s old public schools

By Jill Tucker | SF Chronicle

San Francisco’s newest public school, Willie Brown Jr. Middle School, will have plenty of modern features. But back in the 19th and 20th centuries, the city built very different schools — structures with Italian tile, solariums, painted ceilings, chandeliers and even gargoyles. These are old-school schools with fascinating features. Five gargoyles sit atop the old Hilltop High School in the Mission, built in 1937. “Every school should have gargoyles,” said David Goldin, San Francisco Unified’s chief facilities officer. Here’s a sampling, clockwise from top left: Tiles surround the arched doors at Hilltop High ; a gargoyle looks out from the Hilltop roof; original blueprints for all the schools in the district are kept in an office in Nourse Auditorium, built in 1927 for the High School of Commerce; a water fountain in the I.M. Scott Building in the Dogpatch neighborhood. See more images online at www.sfchronicle.com.