Preston School of Industry
|Preston School of Industry|
|Closed||1960 (Original Location)|
|Current Status||Closed & Preserved|
|Building Style||Single Building|
|Architecture Style||Romanesque Revival|
In 1890, the 230 acre parcel of land where the Preston Castle stands was purchased from the Ione Coal & Iron Company for $30 per acre with 100 acres donated. The land was purchased to house the Preston School of Industry, established by the State Legislature as a progressive action toward rehabilitating, rather than simply imprisoning, juvenile offenders.
Building of the Preston School of Industry started right away. The bricks for the building were made at San Quentin and Folsom prisons using sandstone that was quarried six miles from Ione. They were then delivered by rail at 6,000 bricks per car. The cornerstone was laid on December 23, 1890 with 2,500 people in attendance. The plans for the school were ambitious with the original plans showing 77 rooms on five floors. The building would be the most significant example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the Mother Lode.
The Preston School of Industry remained open until 1960 when new facilities for the school were completed. The building remained vacant and fading into disrepair until September 10, 2001 when The Preston Castle Foundation received a fifty-year lease for the property. The Preston Castle has also been named a California State Historical Landmark (#867) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.