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Bell Schoolhouse (Richmond Schoolhouse 9)
This shingled late Federal school is a rare survivor from the early nineteenth century. As in other schoolhouses of its date, the single entrance indicates a more casual concern with differences of sex than was typical in later buildings, which were more meticulously rationalized. Just so with the balanced placement of windows, two on either side elevation. From the Greek Revival onward, rationalized procedure tended to leave a blank stretch of wall toward the entrance, where a divided vestibule and coatroom were placed (here there is no vestibule), with windows concentrated toward the rear of the elevation to light the classroom. Moved to a site near the Richmond Town Hall, Bell School today is also close to a handsome elementary school (1935) in the Federal Revival style popular for New Deal institutional buildings, especially in the northeastern states. The juxtaposition implies “progress.”
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