Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fred C. Nelles School, Whittier, Cal.

The Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility was the first school in the California Youth Authority system, and it ceased operation in 2004.  When it opened in 1891 as the Whittier State School, it expressly served juvenile offenders with boys and girls living on site.  A separate girls' school was built in Ventura in 1916.  Canadian Fred C. Nelles was an early superintendent of the school.  During his tenure from 1912 to 1927, he sought to provide humane methods in dealing with the young residents.  In the school's Department of Research, Nelles and his colleagues applied "scientific" methods to analyze and treat the youths in attempting to understand traits and behavior for delinquency.  Their ongoing work was published in their own journal called the Journal of Delinquency starting in 1916.

Now six years since it closed, the state had started and stopped the sale of the 91-acres to potential home developers.  The City of Whittier failed to win a bid for the land.  Some of the buildings on the property are designated historic landmarks.

The letters F-A-C-I-L-I-T-Y has been swiped from the sign.

The Administration building, constructed between 1928-1929.

The Superintendent's residence, built 1919-1920.

A forlorn landscape.

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful building and should stay open for the welfare of the children. If I can get some investor's can we reopen it and house children?
    What would it take please let me know?
    Thanks, Marianne Jones/Author