History of Name
Our school is named after Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was a noted polymath, a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, soldier, and diplomat. His life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored on coinage and money, warships, the names of towns, counties, and educational institutions, including our school.
Date Built and/or Occupied
In 1933, the Long Beach Earthquake destroyed many buildings in and around Santa Ana. One of the hardest hit was the former school building that was located on what is presently Franklin Elementary. The old building, which was at the time Spurgeon Elementary, was built sometime around 1904 and had two spectacular domes on either side of its entrance crowing the building. The brick-colored roof also stood out to anyone who saw the building. The demolition crews destroyed what the earthquake did not manage to collapse and the reconstruction of Spurgeon Elementary was completed the following year in 1934 by crews from the Works Progress Administration during the height of the Great Depression. The era also gave us the unique architecture of what is now Franklin Elementary. Many parts of the school sport faces of the then modern style known as Art Deco. Examples of this include the two children standing guard over the entrance of this school, the simple yet tasteful auditorium and the circular decorations at the corners of the school outside. While simple, very few schools share any traces of this elegant design motif.
Some 40 years after the reconstruction of Spurgeon Elementary, the school was closed in 1971 due to low enrollment and did not reopen until 1976. During this five year hiatus, Spurgeon Intermediate was constructed and opened on the other side of the city. This, along with the demolition of the old Franklin Elementary (which is now Romero-Cruz Elementary), was the cause for the new christening of Franklin Elementary in 1976 after one of the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin and thus creating the Franklin Elementary Bolts!
The school is still in use today, 77 years after is reconstruction and well over 100 years since the original building stood. Franklin Elementary is home to one of the most beautiful and oldest buildings in Santa Ana. Along with the Old Santa Ana City Hall, Santa Ana High School and Edison Elementary, it is one of the few remaining examples of WPA Era Art Deco architecture in Santa Ana. We hope that our school, its history, our community and students continue for another 100 years.
Go Bolts! Go Bolts! Go Bolts!
Famous People Have Attended!
Given the quality of education, former alumni continue to enroll their children in our school, and in some cases, spanning generations within a family.