Campus and Facilities

History of our Facility

1770 Main Street, San Diego, California 92113-1026

From 1960 until 1992 our official address was 1110 Beardsley Street, San Diego, California 92113.  The entrance to our office was located on Beardsley side of the school at that time.

(3.36 acres on the current site)

I believe that it is important to become familiar with the history of your community. This is a short history of Perkins Elementary:

In the late 1800s "James Russell Lowell School" opened on the Southwest corner of 17th and Market Streets. It closed in 1925.

During World War II the elementary school was rebuilt and reopened on the corner of Newton and Beardsley Street a few blocks away from its original location. This "new" school opened in September 1942 and it continued to be known as "Lowell Elementary School."

We have every school picture album from 1952 through 2024 preserved in our historical archive.  We have scanned every staff picture and placed those pictures on this website on different tabs. This pictures are the most important treasures in our community.  

Many people have asked who James Russell Lowell was. Mr. Lowell was a poet from Massachusetts. He was born in 1819 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received a law degree from Harvard but dedicated himself to literary works. It was noted that he was against slavery. He became a professor at Harvard and was an ambassador to Spain. He died in 1891. Our school was originally named for this distinguished statesman. From the 1890s through 1925 and from 1942 through 1992 our school was known as Lowell Elementary School. Many people who return to San Diego after many years out of the city come by looking for Lowell Elementary and are surprised to learn that in 1992 it was renamed Perkins. Who was Grace W. Perkins and why was the school renamed after her?

Mrs. Perkins was the principal at Lowell Elementary during 1968-1972. A picture of her is in the school office. She was a very popular and effective principal who was dedicated to the Barrio Logan community. She went on to become an assistant superintendent in San Diego City Schools. She was an unwavering advocate for the students and families of the community. She was an extremely strong and intelligent woman who earned the respect and admiration of all who had the opportunity to work with her. Mrs. Perkins is survived by her daughter who currently lives in New York.

A junkyard was located where the middle school classrooms are currently operating. Mr. Richard Camacho, a retired, employee of Lowell remembers that during recess students used to kick balls into the junkyard and he would go and look for the balls amongst the old cars. The school only covered half the block back then. The other half was occupied by the junkyard. The original school buildings existed from 1942 until 1958. At that time the school was shut down for reconstruction and students were temporarily transported to Emerson Elementary. In the picture from 1960 you can see the new facility.  Please click on the "Pictorial History" tab to look at pictures of our school through the years.

The school is once again scheduled to be partially demolished and rebuilt in 2025.  Let's see what the future holds for our community.

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