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Old Central High School

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1882, C. R. Manning. 431 E. Pitkin Ave. (at Madison St.)
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

This handsome Italianate two-story edifice is of rough-faced light pink rhyolite with creamy, smooth Manitou sandstone trim. A central 80-foot bell tower is topped by a mansard roof with a pediment that mimics the main entry below it. Superintendent of Schools Preston Search initiated here the Search, or Pueblo, Plan, one of the earliest attempts at individualized education in the United States. This noncompetitive program was designed to benefit gifted as well as slow learners by allowing students to advance at their own pace. The plan provided for free textbooks, a student savings plan, and guest speakers on such subjects as personal hygiene and industrial education. After the new high school replaced it in 1905, the stone schoolhouse became an elementary school. Scheduled for demolition in 1979, it was rescued in 1980 to house the Pueblo Ballet.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Old Central High School", [Pueblo, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 323-323.

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