November 1st, 2011
By Steve Parker, AIA, LEED AP
Last January, I was perusing the shelves of William Stout Architectural Books when I discovered School Architecture, Principles and Practices by John J. Donovan and others. John Donovan was an architect who practiced in Oakland during the first half of the last century. He came to Oakland to oversee the construction of Oakland City Hall for Henry Hornbostel, the great Pittsburgh master architect. Finding Oakland to his liking, Donovan decided to stay and open his own practice. Among his many collaborations were Oakland Technical High School, the Oakland Auditorium, and coincidentally, two beautiful elementary schools near my home in San Leandro—a wonderful discovery for me.