We will be enforcing COVID protocols during the tour. Details.

Royce Hall

1839 N Echo Ave.

Please remember to bring your tickets the night of the tour!

Fresno High School was founded in 1889. It is the oldest high school in Fresno. In 1922, the school moved to its present site at 1839 North Echo Avenue. It was designed by William Coates and H.B. Traver who also designed the A.G. Wishon home as well as Hanford High School and Porterville High School. Coates was also part of the firm that designed the Fresno County Hall of Records, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Royce Hall, the centerpiece of the high school, was named after Josiah Royce who became well-known as the first major American philosopher to be born west of the Mississippi

Josiah Royce was a leading proponent of idealism who believed in an absolute truth and that human thought and the external world were unified. He believed in tightly binding oneself to others to benefit a noble cause, which would give direction as to what to do and how to live. Considered one of the great philosophical thinkers of his time, his leadership in scientific inquiry changed American higher education. As a tribute to his contributions, the first building at UCLA bears his name. It seems it was a fitting choice for Fresno High’s Royce Hall as well.

Based on several accounts, Royce Hall was the first building—the first schoolhouse — at 1839 Echo. In the 1970’s, the buildings attached to Royce Hall were demolished and “bunkers” were built as wings to the main building.

Renovations to Royce Hall were completed for the 2018–2019 school year. The goal was to give the historic hall a modernization which included new carpeting, acoustic sound paneling, a sound booth located near the auditorium entrance and the removal and relocation of a handicap elevator to make more room for stair access to the stage. Royce Hall and the administration and media center buildings now recapture the original character of the high school. That includes not only mirroring the exterior of Royce Hall in the other two buildings, but also interior design as well. The wood is stained a dark mahogany color and the windows are multi-paned mullioned windows reflecting the same design used with Royce Hall.

There is a little known of a fallout shelter entrance at the rear of the handball courts, (in the middle where the metal grate is on the ground), that goes downstairs to a door that leads under “goat hill” and then under Royce Hall. Perhaps that is where the ghosts dwell. Rumor has it that Royce Hall might be haunted. It seems a janitor fell to his death sometime in the 1930’s and there have been reports of whistling in the lobby and a shadowy presence on the north staircase. And the teachers’ lounge may be haunted as well. The sound of keys jingling and footsteps late at night with the flickering of lights and whistling might be heard by those who believe.

Royce Hall is one of the most easily recognizable landmarks in the community and in Fresno itself. It seems as if the auditorium is always in use, even on the weekends. It is an important and vital part of the Fresno High community and one that makes us all proud.

Royce Hall will be open from 5-9 but the Fresno High Band and Chorus will only be performing from 5:30-8:30. We will also be selling t-shirts with the Fresno High neighborhood logo on it for $25. Make checks out to t0he Fresno High Home Tour.