Seeing Stars: Schools of the Stars..

7450 Hawthorn Ave (at Gardner Street),
Hollywood, CA. / (323) 876-4710

This typical public elementary school in Hollywood (just a few blocks west of Grauman's Chinese Theatre) boasts at least one very famous alumnus.

Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop," was a 6th grade student here back when he was a normal 11-year-old; he attended class here in the daytime and performed as an emerging musical superstar at night, with his family group "The Jackson Five." His early hit songs back then included "ABC," "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There."

In 1989, Gardner Street Elementary named the school auditorium after "the gloved one." Gleaming silver letters across the front of the building now read: "The Michael Jackson Auditorium" ; Michael himself showed up for the unveiling.


In return, Jackson sort of adopted his old school; he paid the salary for the school's music teacher, he planted memorial rose bushes near the playground, and even left his famous signature on the wall of his old 6th grade schoolroom.

At the height of the scandal surrounding accusations of child molestation, in 2003, the school chose to cover up his name from the auditorium.

However, in October of 2010, following Michael's death (and a public petition drive to restore his name), the boards covering his name were removed, and Michael Jackson's name once again gleams on the school auditorium.

Unfortunately, one other former student from Garner recently made the headlines: Mikhail Markhasev, the man convicted of shooting to death Ennis Cosby. The son on comedian Bill Cosby was northbound on the San Diego (405) Freeway, when he pulled off the freeway onto the Mulholland offramp to fix a flat tire. There, he encountered Markhasev, who shot him during a failed robbery attempt.

Getting thereThe school is located at the southeast corner of N. Gardner Street and Hawthorn Avenue in Hollywood (south of Hollywood Blvd and north of Sunset) The Michael Jackson auditorium is visible from Gardner Street.

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