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History of Corona Avenue Elementary

Original Name:

Harding Elementary

Year Built:  1911

Student Population: 

1911 - 102 students

1934 - 651 students

2006 - 1,246 students

Location: Bell, California


In 1903, the first classes of Corona Avenue Elementary were held in a church in the Bell area.  James G. Bell donated four acres of land located at the corner of Corona and Bell Avenues.  This first school house accommodated 20 students of all grades and was named Harding Elementary.  In 1911, a two story brick building was constructed and Harding Elementary’s enrollment was 102 students, under the principal directorship of Ms. Minnie C. Hart.  In 1913, the school’s name was changed to Bell Grammar School, and in 1923, it became known as Bell Grammar #1, because there were three schools in Bell at this time.  The school entered the Los Angeles Unified School District system in 1926 and had its name changed finally to Corona Avenue Elementary.

In 1933, Long Beach, California was the epic center of a major earthquake, and many communities, including Bell, suffered extensive damage.  The top floor of the two story building of Corona Avenue Elementary had to be removed and the first floor needed to be thoroughly repaired.  In 1934, through the PWA program, famed architect, Richard Nuetra helped transform Corona into an “experimental” school.  His design consisted of huge sliding glass patio walls which opened the entire side of the room directly to the outside.  At this time, the enrollment of Corona was 651 students with 21 teachers.  Because of Richard Nuetra’s works, Corona Avenue has since become an historical landmark.

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