Philip Riley Boone bought the building (which was not yet finished) in 1884 and moved his school, which was already in operation, to the Durant Avenue location the following year. The school was successful enough that two stories were added to the building, which served as Principal Boone's residence, with dormitories on the second and third floors. Additional buildings and ball fields were added to the campus.
The school flourished in the 1890s, attracting a number of wealthy and prominent patrons. In 1903, California began providing state support for schools, and private academies such as Boone's gradually declined. The school continued operation until 1915, and the building on Durant remained in the Boone family and functioned as a boarding house until 1980. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.