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History

Tue, Feb 25, 2020

Santa Cruz Then: Louden Nelson

School is in session! This Thursday, we travel back to the 1890s to visit the old Laurel School building.

Originally known as Beach School, this one-room schoolhouse was built in 1868. It was only in 1895 that it was replaced with a much larger wooden two-story house, known as Laurel School.

Fast forward to 1932, when the current Community Center building was constructed and housed an elementary school for over 40 years. Shortly after the school closed in 1973, the idea of a multicultural community center was presented, leading us to today.

Today, we know the building as the Louden Nelson Community Center, but the playground area is aptly named Laurel Park in memory of the old schoolhouse.

Read more about the powerful murals located near Louden Nelson and other locations here.

Keep up with the popular #santacruzthen series on the MAH's Instagram.