John F. Kennedy School, Butte, May 2012

John F. Kennedy School, Butte, May 2012

Modernism is another key theme for the work in 2012-2014. I explored this a bit in 1984-1985 but today, in the 21st century, buildings like this public school, with its multi-color panes and stilts strike you as emblematic of the era of the early 1960s. The boom in Butte had reached new heights, and growth still seemed unlimited as long as you were willing to sacrifice community for huge holes in the ground like the Berkeley Pit. Few guessed that the boom would not even last another generation.

2 thoughts on “John F. Kennedy School, Butte, May 2012

  1. who wouldn’t want to go to school in a place like this?? i just love it. the building doesn’t just have character, it has whimsy and creativity. surely a place that is full of the unexpected inspires children to think in unexpected directions.

  2. I agree totally, Heather Bailey! Unfortunately, two years ago the school district budgeted to “upgrade” the energy efficiency of several of their historic school buildings, including “the Kennedy” as it’s known locally. They were going to ameliorate the passive solar & heat coming through those south-facing windows by installing new fenestration & insulating/covering over the wonderful primary color enamel panels. The work still was not done as of last spring but I’m sure it’s taken place. I’m really *not* looking forward to seeing how the building looks now. I spoke with some of the teacher assistants on the playground one day last year about the upcoming work & they were very excited about the remuddling (my term) as: “it’s so hot in those classrooms!” A comment which brings home to me, once again, how our idea of what “comfort” is has changed over time.

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