Josh Whitehead is the author of three outstanding blogs that deal with urban design, architecture, Memphis history, and livability. The following one is taken from a post from Creme de Memph about the city tradition of building architecturally impressive schools.
Mr. Whitehead’s two other blogs, Tours by Josh Whitehead, and Nothing Ever Happens in My Block, are equally enjoyable and frequently spark our thinking about quality of place and livable cities. His fascination with the back story historically and his insights into planning and design are always interesting. As Director of Planning for Memphis and Shelby County, it produces a finely hewn understanding of our community.
Here is the post a few months ago about schools that we enjoyed:
The Memphis City School System, which as a legal entity has been dissolved and is currently winding down, nevertheless has a long history of building architecturally impressive buildings. This post looks at a few of these schools.
|Tudor details above the entrances at Humes.|
|Vollintine Elementary, also from the 1920s, exhibits a Colonial design.|
|In the center of Vollintine Elementary is a nicely proportioned amphitheater.|
|Snowden Junior High was built in 1909 and designed by the local Memphis firm of Jones and Furbringer. The school has had three expansions over the years: 1924, 1939 and 1979.|
|The gymnasium was part of the 1924 expansion. Jones and Furbringer were able to seamlessly meld this wing into the original 1909 building.|
|Detailed scholastic flourishments at Snowden.|
|Hamilton Middle School was built as Hamilton High School. Note the shields above the windows and the urns along the roofline.|
|The entrance tower is flanked on both sides by these pylons, which feature reliefs representing night and day (which are identified in English, French and Latin).|
|Note the original light fixture. The urns along the base of Fairview are much grander than those found in the other City schools discussed on this post.|
|In addition to its great pre-war schools, the Memphis City School system also features some equally great post-war Modern buildings. This is Southside High.|
|In addition to its front entrance which really captures the time period, Southside has turquoise panelling adorning its classroom wings.|
|This aerial of Georgia Elementary shows that it is made up of three free-standing buildings connected by a series of breezeways. The design is about as 1960 as you can get!|
|Further east than East High School is White Station High. Note its very post-war gymnasium.|
|Going even further east is Cordova Elementary School, which features a design that has become the norm for today’s schools: a one-story, X-shaped layout that attempts to give all classrooms exposure to some sunlight.|
|An exception to the design featured at Cordova Elementary is Downtown Elementary, which had site constraints typical with an urban lot that necessitated two stories. Note the fanciful brick patterns.|