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Three One-Room Schoolhouses

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1865–1897. N. Hathaway Dr. and Millfair, Avonia, W. Lake (PA 5), and Dutch rds.

The rural nature of Fairview Township is evidenced by the dozen small brick and frame school buildings that dot the countryside. Until the 1950s, when elementary education for a region was consolidated into a single modern building, small schools served only the immediate neighborhood. Today, these neighborhood school buildings are reused as houses and shops. Three of the three-bay schools—two brick and one frame—are representative. The school built in 1878 ( ER45.1; 7490 N. Hathaway Drive) has an airy feeling despite its brick construction, which probably stems from its narrow massing and open wooden cupola with bell. Paired brackets and segmental-arched windows lend an Italianate feeling to the small structure, which is now a residence. The brick Fairview School No. 3 of 1897 ( ER45.2; W. Lake and Dutch roads NW) reflects the stylistic change to the Colonial Revival, with its heavier massing, pedimented gable, and the suggestion of brick pilaster strips on the side elevations. The bell tower is heavier, square, and an integral part of what is now a commercial building. Finally, the two-story, board-and-batten structure of 1865 ( ER45.3; 5800 Millfair Road) has had several additions in its transformation from a school to a house. A diminutive blind arcade runs along the eaves, and the entrance has a Greek Revival surround. Unlike the two brick schools, which have central entrances, this school's entrance is asymmetrically located.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Three One-Room Schoolhouses", [Fairview, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 506-506.

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