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Photo Of Grand High School Structure 1907


Vertigo58

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Can someone please identify this high school? Where was it located?

Photo is circa 1907. :ph34r:

Imagine if it had been saved? Even better, can we ever identify the architect? Appears like one of Nicholas J. Clayton's works of art.

1907%20Houston%20Texas%20High%20School.jpg

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Can someone please identify this high school? Where was it located?

Photo is circa 1907. :ph34r:

Imagine if it had been saved? Even better, can we ever identify the architect? Appears like one of Nicholas J. Clayton's works of art.

1907%20Houston%20Texas%20High%20School.jpg

Looks like the old Houston High School at Rusk and Caroline

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Looks like the old Houston High School at Rusk and Caroline

Can we find out any more about it? When demolished :angry: for example.

Appears to be in the high Gothic Victorian Romanesque style, typical in Clayton's designs of the time. I do worship I must admit.

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Can we find out any more about it? When demolished :angry: for example.

Appears to be in the high Gothic Victorian Romanesque style, typical in Clayton's designs of the time. I do worship I must admit.

I believe that Eugene T. Heiner was the architect of that school. It was built in 1894 on the site of the previous school which was called the Clopper Institure. They called that block "Academy Square" and was bounded by Rusk, Capitol, Caroline, and Austin streets. I'll see what I can find about when it was demolised.

Edited by isuredid
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Why can't they build schools like that anymore? Well, maybe not exactly like that but at least have a little more pride in the architecture. Seems like schools from the '50's onward are just stark and institutional. The ones from the olden days seemed to say "hey, this is your school, glad you're here".

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I believe that Eugene T. Heiner was the architect of that school. It was built in 1894 on the site of the previous school which was called the Clopper Institure. They called that block "Academy Square" and was bounded by Rusk, Capitol, Caroline, and Austin streets.

That's what I saw, too. There's a lot of information in a 9/20/1894 article in the Galveston paper. I will try to attach an excerpt of the requirements for the building on which the plans were based.

fpc148.jpg

[Postcard image from this site.]

post-2051-1211387485_thumb.jpg

Edited by tmariar
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Why can't they build schools like that anymore? Well, maybe not exactly like that but at least have a little more pride in the architecture. Seems like schools from the '50's onward are just stark and institutional. The ones from the olden days seemed to say "hey, this is your school, glad you're here".

Exactly! One day I was with a person that had a album of all of Houston's past public schools dating to the mid 1800's each and everyone one of them was so unique in it's own personal way. It simply amazes me how they were able to construct these jewels with the equipment (or lack of) at that time just boggles the mind.

Many of the structures reflected the era perfectly ie; towers, turrets, minarets, leaded windows, domed ceilings, wide staircases, mansard roof's, iron crestings, Gothic/Victorian detail. (Imagine the cool antique furnishings within).

Sadly, many of the homes (palaces) and public buildings were removed for progress? ie; tire shops, car sales lots, pathetic.

Thanks everyone for the insite. More Houston mysteries solved. :D

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Looks like a telescope observatory dome at the rear. If so, that's quite a structure for a high school. Here are a few more bits of info about the building...

On the high school level, the school changed, rather than the location, for many years. From 1856-1881, the school was named the Houston Academy; from 1881-1886, Clopper Institute; 1886-1902, Houston Normal and High School; 1902-1914, Houston High School; 1914-1926, Central High School; and 1926-1952, Sam Houston High School. On March 18, 1919, when the school was Central High, the building was destroyed by fire. Besides this necessary rebuilding, it was enlarged and modernized as the needs arose over the years. The long-time location was 1300 Capitol and Caroline. Following the 1952 school year, the building was remodeled as temporary offices for the administration of the Houston Independent School District.

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Looks like a telescope observatory dome at the rear. If so, that's quite a structure for a high school. Here are a few more bits of info about the building...

On the high school level, the school changed, rather than the location, for many years. From 1856-1881, the school was named the Houston Academy; from 1881-1886, Clopper Institute; 1886-1902, Houston Normal and High School; 1902-1914, Houston High School; 1914-1926, Central High School; and 1926-1952, Sam Houston High School. On March 18, 1919, when the school was Central High, the building was destroyed by fire. Besides this necessary rebuilding, it was enlarged and modernized as the needs arose over the years. The long-time location was 1300 Capitol and Caroline. Following the 1952 school year, the building was remodeled as temporary offices for the administration of the Houston Independent School District.

Hold on to your hats! This will blow you away!

All that makes perfect sense. Below is a photo of:

Central High School, Houston, Texas 1925 Girls Basketball Team

Back row: Elizabeth Ringo, Etta Mae Cade, Celia (or Cecilia) Salerno, Helen Tomlin, Cornelia Langston, Mildred ArcherMiddle row: Phyllis Howard, Inez Reynolds, Celia Lesky, Fay Carter, Mrs. M. A. Hurst - coach, Carle Danna, Sarah Greenfield, Margaret WilliamsFront row: Ila Rae McKinney, Eugenis Payne, Doris Holdren, Genevieve Miller, Hattie Mae McKinney - manager, Ruby Roggen, Florence Karnaky.

txhoustonlgcentralhs1925girlsbb.jpg

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From an article on the fire in the 3/20/1919 Galveston newspaper (I'm guessing at a few words because the copy is bad):

"Houston, Tex., March 19 - What was once the old Houston Academy and later reconstructed into the Central High School was destroyed by fire last night. The oldest educational institution in the city, it was a private school and erected by several of the prominent and progressive citizens of the 50's. Colonel [?] Smith was the first principal of the school and remained with it until the end of the first year, when Professor [?] succeeded him. It changed hands several times following that and the property was finally sold at public auction.

The building is a peculiar structure, having many alleyways which digress throughout the building. At unexpected [?] all over that large and twilight-[?] cavern were secret cubby holes. Closets existed under stairways in dark [places?], and it would remind a person of [some?] of the buildings which might have been found in the Arabian Night days.

As for the history of the Central High School, the Houston Normal and High School was organized in [1878?]. It opened in three back rooms of the Masonic Temple at Main and Capitol at that time. The school had an enrollment of forty-five pupils the first year. It kept growing until in [1881?] it took over the present building which it has occupied up to the present time."

Also: 1/25/1921 - "Houston, Tex., Jan. 24 - The new Central High School building, which has been in course of construction for several months, was opened this morning to 700 pupils who have been attending school at the South End Junior High School since the burning of the old Central High School."

Edited by tmariar
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Hold on to your hats! This will blow you away!

All that makes perfect sense. Below is a photo of:

Central High School, Houston, Texas 1925 Girls Basketball Team

Basketball must have been really different back then. What were the sticks for?

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I could just kill to learn if any past yearbooks exist to this day!

Says built by "prominent citizen's of the 50's" thats 1850's.

Wonder if they girls in that pic were from well-to-do families? Maybe not, by the 1920's since it seems most deputante/socialites wouldnt be caught dead playing in a girls basketball team? Rather be off somewhere riding side-saddle perhaps. :blush:

Need to do more research on the architect guy/firm if thats still possible.

Wonder what the school colors were? Mascot? Clubs?

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Need to do more research on the architect guy/firm if thats still possible.

This is a pretty interesting article about Heiner.

He also designed the Brashear Building at 910 Prairie. Isuredid posted this picture of it previously (it's on the right):

Packards_Laundry_Brashear_Building.jpg

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Hold on to your hats! This will blow you away!

All that makes perfect sense. Below is a photo of:

Central High School, Houston, Texas 1925 Girls Basketball Team

Back row: Elizabeth Ringo, Etta Mae Cade, Celia (or Cecilia) Salerno, Helen Tomlin, Cornelia Langston, Mildred ArcherMiddle row: Phyllis Howard, Inez Reynolds, Celia Lesky, Fay Carter, Mrs. M. A. Hurst - coach, Carle Danna, Sarah Greenfield, Margaret WilliamsFront row: Ila Rae McKinney, Eugenis Payne, Doris Holdren, Genevieve Miller, Hattie Mae McKinney - manager, Ruby Roggen, Florence Karnaky.

txhoustonlgcentralhs1925girlsbb.jpg

Basketball? Why is that girl in front holding two bats and a softball?

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My mother graduated from Sam Houston in 1944. I have her yearbook and would be happy to scan some pictures if anyone wants to see them. I thought there might be a picture of the school, but there is only a close-up of the front steps.

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Basketball? Why is that girl in front holding two bats and a softball?

I agree. I think they made a mistake somewhere, that's 2 bats & a ball. And it's not basketball size.

My book also says Central High School burned to the ground in March 1919. Must have been rebuilt. So many buildings burned, was a real problem then.

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My book also says Central High School burned to the ground in March 1919. Must have been rebuilt. So many buildings burned, was a real problem then.

Looking at the footprint for Sam Houston high school in Sanborn maps. the new school that was built on that site in 1920 was an entirely new structure. They must have just demolished the 1894 building and started over.

Here is one more image of the 1894 Houston High School. It looks like this photo by George Beach was the model for the colorized post card.

Houston_High_School_Photo.jpg

Edited by isuredid
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I had posted this in the thread on Time Capsules, but it works for this thread too. This is from an 1894 Galveston Daily News article:

That was just too cool.

I was able to print then later read about this mans great works mostly public buildings. I did not notice if any are still extant? Besides the one in downtown that is.

Imagine if they had save that school? Could have been a museum for ARCH or still a learning facility to this day. :(:)

It would be great if enlarged color copies could be printed. I love displaying these historic structures.

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Here is a transcript of an article from the Chronicle of Nov 6, 1966:

State to Honor Century Old School Center

By Louis Hofferbert - Chronicle Reporter

For more than a century--almost since the Allen brothers drove stakes and announced they had established a city--one block in downtown Houston has served as the center of the city's educational system.

It is the block where, as long as 109 years, one month and 21 days, Houstonians gathered to lay the cornerstone of what was to become the Houston Academy.

Through succeeding years and many buildings it was to be known variously as Houston High, Central High, Sam Houston High, and finally the administrative headquarters of the school system.

Under its various names and roots it has witnessed history and made history. Its rolls have carried many of Houston's most illustrious names. Its buildings have been ravaged by time and by fire. Its walls have heard the oratory of Ashbel Smith---and of Lyndon Johnson.

The colorful and significant background of that block 1300 Capitol, will be recognized Tuesday and 1:30 p.m. when a state historical marker will be dedicated in a ceremony of the Harris County Historical Survey Committee.

The Houston Academy was chartered 110 years ago. Mrs. Cornelia Ennis donated the school site and James Stevens, a merchant, willed $5000 for a building. Another $10,000 was raised by popular subscription and construction of the first two-story red brick building began. The cornerstone laying was in September 1857.

The Houston Academy was not a public school. It was maintained by tuition charges and subscription. Its first principal was Dr. Ashbel G. Smith, the pepperpot from Connecticut who did not get here in time to wrest Texas from Mexico, but had a hand in almost everything else undertaken by the new republic.

Dr. Smith (often referred to as Gen. Smith) became Texas first surgeon-general and held the rank of colonel in the 2nd Texas Infantry during the Civil War. He was the first regent of the University of Texas, a founder of the university's medical school, and held such post as ambassador to England and France.

It was from a balcony of the academy that Sam Houston urged Texas in 1860 not to secede from the Union. It was in one of its classrooms that the body of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston lay in state after his death in the battle of Shiloh. Houston's public school system was established in 1878, but the old academy building was so dilapidated classes were held in the Masonic Hall.

In 1881 the old structure was renovated and named Clopper Institute, in honor of E.N. Clopper, the city's second superintendant of schools.

In 1894 a new Temple of learning was erected. It was an ornate four-story brick building known first as Houston Normal and High school. Later the name was shortened to Houston High, and in 1914 to Central High.

This is the school fondly remembered by most "old-time" Houstonians.

The building was destroyed by fire in March 1919 and was replaced by the first U-shaped section that now occupies the site. The rebuilt school opened in 1921 with 1485 pupils and 70 teachers.

The principal was F. M. Black one of Houston's most beloved school officials, for whom Sam Houston High's famous Black Batallion was named.

The school continued to be known as Central High until 1926 when the name changed to Sam Houston High. It carried that name in the early 1930's when Lyndon B. Johnson taught public speaking and debating there.

Sam Houston High it remained for 26 years. Although there is a Sam Houston High today, it is not the same school. The downtown Sam Houston High was discontinued in 1952 to make way for the school system's administrative offices. In 1955 a new senior high was built on Irvington and was given the Sam Houston name.

Present to take leading parts in the Tuesday ceremony will be Judge Ewing Werlein of the First Court of Civil Appeals, Mrs. Jennie Morrow Decker, granddaughter of Sam Houston; Lester Prokop of the state historical commision, and school Supt. Glenn Fletcher, Harold G. Pyle chairman of the survey commitee will be master of ceremonies, and Frank E. Tritico will introduct the guests.

LBJ with his debate team from his time teaching at Sam Houston High

LBJ_and_Debate_Team_II.jpg

You can probably guess what is occupying that block today----A parking lot. I am curious about a few things. When they tore down the old Houston Academy building they found a time capsule in the cornerstone full of things from 1857. When they built the 1894 Houston High they put their own time capsule in the cornerstone along with the contents of the 1857 time capsule. What ever happened to those items? And what happened to the historical marker put on that site in 1966?

Edited by isuredid
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You can probably guess what is occupying that block today----A parking lot. I am curious about a few things. When they tore down the old Houston Academy building they found a time capsule in the cornerstone full of things from 1857. When they built the 1894 Houston High they put their own time capsule in the cornerstone along with the contents of the 1857 time capsule. What ever happened to those items? And what happened to the historical marker put on that site in 1966?

Not sure why city landfill comes to mind, however on a positive note; there must be local historians or societies that know the where abouts? Maybe in a museum, Antiques Roadshow? Ja ja :)

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Basketball must have been really different back then. What were the sticks for?

LOL! I was thinking the same thing, and the balls appear to have gone through the hoops much easier, look how small that ball is that girl in the middle is holding. I am gonna hold onto my hat and say this was the girl's SOFTBALL team ?

Note to self: remember to put crackpipe down before posting about topics 6 days later.

Edited by TJones
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Basketball must have been really different back then. What were the sticks for?

They were used by the beaters. Cf. Quidditch. It was a much rougher game in those days. Note how none of the girls are showing any teeth in the photo.

:)

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  • 2 weeks later...
This is from the 1925 annual for the photo above:

I wonder if anyone can determine or confirm rather if they used to ring bells (in those tower/bellfry's) to alert everyone class's were about to commence?

We all used to hear those mechanized chimes on the walls but the towers were there for more than just architectural appeal right? Imagine the great views from atop those towers? :D

The original bells could have been salvaged is what I mean too! (Saved by the bell) Hee hee....

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Aside note many Houston residents of the time claimed this building was so large that it was a waste since Houston would never need a school this big.

That I truly believe!

That must have been a common phrase in those days for most of the cities structures, road's, etc.

Something I always bear in mind is that Houston became the central re-location for most if not all of the residents that once lived near the Gulf and fled after the 1900 storm. Houston boomed and rest is history of course. Remember this was build in 1907. A mere 7 years after that historical calamity. -_-

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The old school was also very close to The Old Houston Fire Station #1 which must have also been HFD headquarters and the location of Sam Houston;s House when he was President of the Republic.

That I truly believe!

That must have been a common phrase in those days for most of the cities structures, road's, etc.

Something I always bear in mind is that Houston became the central re-location for most if not all of the residents that once lived near the Gulf and fled after the 1900 storm. Houston boomed and rest is history of course. Remember this was build in 1907. A mere 7 years after that historical calamity. -_-

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  • The title was changed to Photo Of Grand High School Structure 1907

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