California School for the Blind – Fremont, California - Atlas Obscura

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California School for the Blind

Sporting Brutalist architecture, this school is hidden amid a quiet suburban neighborhood.  


Tucked away in the middle of the suburbs near Mission Hills, visitors will find one of the best places to view Modern architecture in Fremont. The California School for the Blind was originally founded in 1867 in Berkeley.

However, the Board of Education determined the school did not meet earthquake, fire, and accessibility codes, so it was relocated to Fremont and was completed in 1980. The school continues to be California’s only school for the blind.

Architect Daniel Dworsky was chosen to design the school, he is perhaps most known for designing the Bradley International Terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport. Dworsky was heavily influenced by Modernists such as Le Corbusier and Bauhaus. These influences are seen in the heavy use of concrete, and the simple rectangular design of the school.

What makes this building different from other works by Dworsky is the design’s playful nature with simple geometric shapes and vibrant colors. These colors are most noticeable on the canopies above the doors.

Know Before You Go

The Residential Housing facilities are right next to the school, so if you visit be quiet and respectful. 

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