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Silverside Carr Executive Center (Silverside Elementary School)
Drastically altered in the 1980s, this was once one of Delaware's most innovative buildings, an elementary school as modern as any in the United States and comparable to Eliel Saarinen's Crow Island School in Winnetka, Illinois (1939). The Wilmington firm built two nearly identical facilities at the same time, this one and Edge Moor Elementary, now demolished, both visited by architects from throughout the country. Novelties included sprawling suburban sites (twelve acres each), the series of low wings (more could easily be added) radiating out from the administrative core with its slablike accent tower, extensive use of glass and glass brick, engineered lighting, acoustical ceiling tiles, chimes instead of bells, clocks only in the hallways, and homelike touches, including a fireplace in the front lobby. Construction was of brick and concrete block, without expensive plaster, glazed brick, or tile. Classrooms each had their own bathrooms, were painted in distinctive colors, used varied asphalt-tile patterns on the floors, had colored chalkboards (not black) for use with water-soluble crayons, and opened directly to the outdoors.
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