Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.

-- Plato

 Pleasantdale Elementary School

The Northcrest community has its own resident Elementary School, part of the Dekalb School system. The school is located towards the North-Eastern end of the original Northcrest development (before the neighborhood spread Eastward), adjacent to Pleasantdale Park. The school has features typical of 50's/60's built schools (Pleasantdale Elementary was opened in August 1968 according to the Dekalb Schools website) - brick and concrete construction with large windows. There are many Mid-century Modern features, like the cantilevered roof above the driveway drop-off to the left of the building.

The entrance to the school features some nifty san-serif typeface for "Pleasantdale School Dekalb County" and tall concrete columns, framing three metal doors. Also typical of this period of school building, a flag pole features prominently right outside the front door. This school is so similar to the grade school I attended that it evokes some terrific memories.

Small windows straddle the entrance, while a large/wide architectural "dental" detail along the roof line adds some separation to the entryway section, identifying it as the main entrance to the building. Sidewalks extend to the left and right to help ebb the flow of traffic (and possibly prevent small feet from destroying the lawn).

Pleasantdale Elementary School is located on 10.2 wooded acres within the Northcrest community. The school property is adjacent to Pleasantdale Park, a community recreational park with a playground, nature trail, softball field, and football field.

One of my favorite structural features of the school is the covered driveway drop-off, consisting of cantilevered horizontal concrete supports, diving into a single row of concrete columns. The construction conveys much of the Mid-century design esthetic that is so evocative of the atomic or modern style.

The school has a rather majestic demeanor from street-level - I can imagine walking up to the doors for my grade school classes - what a wonderful building for a child to spend his/her daylight hours. Neighborhood sidewalks are provided along Northlake Drive from Lori Lane.

Exiting the school via the driveway drop-off, one gets to enjoy the detail of the center columns supporting the protective portico. There's something about the simplicity of the T-shape at the top that works for me. Beautifully designed, practical and esthetically pleasing - what more could you ask for?

Information about Pleasantdale Elementary School may be garnered from the Dekalb County Schools website. Additional information is provided by greatschools.net (I have no affiliation to the latter link, it's just something that I came across and thought provided some interesting information).

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