Who Owns Cranbrook School? An Expert's Perspective

Founded in 1932, Cranbrook Schools is a college-preparatory day educational institution and boarding school for students from early childhood to the twelfth grade. It is part of the Cranbrook Educational Community (CEC), which includes the Cranbrook Institute of Science, the Cranbrook Academy of Art and Cranbrook House and Gardens. The organization takes its name from Cranbrook, England, the birthplace of George Booth's father. The school is renowned for its architecture in the style of the Arts and Crafts Movement by principal architects Albert Kahn and Eliel Saarinen.

It is also known for its apprentice teaching method, in which a small group of students usually only 10 to 16 students per class, or 150 students in total from the ten departments study with a single artist in residence throughout their curriculum. Notable alumni and professors at the Cranbrook Academy of Art include Harry Bertoia, Richard DeVore, Charles Eames, Ray Eames, Waylande Gregory, Florence Knoll (who did not graduate), Daniel Libeskind and Eero Saarinen. The Cranbrook Science Institute includes a permanent collection of scientific artifacts, as well as annual temporary exhibitions. As befitted his interests in craftsmanship and design, George Booth personally commissioned tapestries, wood carvings, furniture, goldsmithery, glass work, fine bindings and other decorative items from the workshops of leading American and European artisans and craft firms to place them in Cranbrook House.

In the 1960s, the Cranbrook Children's School also built a state-of-the-art scientific building called Gordon Science Center. An obvious solution to the difficult fiscal situation Cranbrook faced was to change the way it did business. After its completion, Booth began building the Cranbrook School for Boys, a college preparatory school exclusively for boys. As the improvements in Cranbrook progressed, the Booth family spent an increasing portion of their expenses on buildings intended for public use.

The New York Times wrote that the effect of Cranbrook and his graduates and professors on the physical environment of this country has been profound. Dedicated to excellence in all aspects of education, Cranbrook Schools is an iconic institution that has shaped generations of students.

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