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Whitefish Bay High School

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1932, Martin Tullgren and Sons. 1200 E. Fairmont Ave.

Whitefish Bay High School, designed by the firm’s Herbert Tullgren, is Collegiate Gothic in style, popular on American campuses in the first third of the twentieth century for evoking venerable British universities. The school’s massive entrance pavilion incorporates several stylistic hallmarks: red brick walls that contrast sharply with pale limestone trim, crenellated stonework capping octagonal piers, and three columns of windows rising dramatically toward a belfry, which give a soaring sense of verticality. Gothic embellishments include cusped arches, tracery, quatrefoils, and shields. Perched atop the middle column, a bas-relief owl and oil lamp symbolize the wisdom to be gained through serious study. Students may identify less with the exalted owl than with the pupils, hunched over their desks, in the bas-relief panels over the entrance.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Whitefish Bay High School", [Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 154-155.

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