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East High School

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1925, George H. Williamson. City Park Esplanade and E. Colfax Ave.
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Sited on a parkway next to City Park, East High exemplifies the Progressive era's fondness for erecting showcase public buildings in grand settings to teach public lessons in fine design. Mottled red brick trimmed with pale gray terracotta sheathes this eclectic adaptation of the English Jacobean style to a school distinguished by a bell tower vaguely reminiscent of Philadelphia's Independence Hall. The four-story, H-plan building with a 162-foot-high tower is remarkable for its 25 percent window-to-floor-area ratio, designed for natural light. Minimal interior remodeling has left in place the gray Ozark marble of the main lobby and the replica of Michelangelo's David, a tribute to triumphant youth.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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