(By the way, remember when the Oakland Tribune was also a major source for local news, a strong rival to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Contra Costa Times. My, how times have changed, especially with the Chronicle facing severe cutbacks, a sale, and even closure. But that's another story.)
Even though I grew up in Walnut Creek, I lived on the other side of town and didn't attend Northgate High. Also, it's only been in the past couple years that I finally had the opportunity to visit Northgate High, first to visit a friend's classroom, and then to take my son to Sunday basketball practice in the gymnasium.
On my visit to the classroom, I had to check in at the office, which meant I had to go up the ramp to the main office mezzanine, and I was immediately struck by what Principal Dick Hansen described back in 1974 as the "open or all under-one-roof concept."
Back in 1974, the Oakland Tribune writer said the impact of the view from the office mezzanine "makes conventional school suddenly seem dull and old-fashioned." The main section from view of the office included a 9,000-square-foot library, the largest in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. The library was part of this "open or all under-one-roof concept."
Wasn't that a school architectural trend back in the '70s? To create schools without walls and few interior doors, with these big, open spaces, to promote communal harmony, cooperation, or whatever was the hippie-influenced Zeitgeist of the era?
Certainly, the 184,000-square-foot school was very "modern" for its time, with 75 percent of its indoor space carpeted and 80 percent air-conditioned.
Thanks Mom's Exhausted for sharing this glimpse into the past!