Abandoned School in Mississippi
Lorena Duling School, Jackson Mississippi
The Lorena Duling School, located at 622 Duling Avenue in Jackson, Mississippi, was designed by Jackson architect Claude H. Lindsley and constructed in 1927. The building was commissioned by the Jackson Public School district as the neighborhood elementary school for the developing community of Fondren. Sited at the geographic center of Fondren, the school was one of the neighborhood's earliest and most prominent public institutions. Once completed, the school fostered the continued development of the neighborhood. The history of the building from its inception in the 1920s through its expansions in the 1930s and 1940s mirrors the patterns of development of the surrounding community. The building played a prominent role in the community where generations of Fondren's residents were educated.
In 1926, the Board of Education commissioned architect Claude H. Lindsley to design the elementary school, which would become known as the Lorena Duling School. The prolific construction firm of W.J. McGee & Son were commissioned as the builder. Construction on the school was completed in the late summer of 1927 and that September a dedication ceremony was held. W.F. Bond, the State Superintendent of Education was the principal speaker at the dedication. Mayor Scott and School Board President Watkins also served prominent roles in the ceremony. Period accounts attest to the considerable tribute that was paid to the school's namesake, Lorena Duling.
The school was named in honor of Lorena Duling (1859-1949), a Tennessee native who taught in Paris, Texas for a number of years prior to moving to Jackson in the 1890s. While Lorena Duling never worked at the school that would bear her name, she was one of the most influential persons during the early formation of the Jackson Public School District. In 1905, she became principal of the Jefferson Davis School and served in that capacity for 36 years. In total, she worked for the Jackson public school system for 56 years before retiring in 1949 at the age of 82. Duling Street, on which the school is located, also bears her name. The Lorena Duling School had the distinction of being the only public school in Jackson to be named for a living person.
When the Lorena Duling School opened, there were five teachers and a total enrollment of 36 pupils. At the time, Jackson's elementary schools typically held grades 1-5 with grades 6-12 located in the junior high and high schools. With its five original classrooms, the Lorena Duling School likely contained one class per grade with approximately seven students per class when the building first opened. With the exception of the first principal, the Lorena Duling School was led by principals who generally stayed in their position for a decade or longer, and were recognized as prominent figures in the community.
Following the Depression, the Jackson Public School District began a comprehensive campaign of alterations and improvements to the district's school buildings. Over a ten-year period, almost every school in the district was enlarged or altered. Most commonly, auditoriums were added. In 1936, the auditorium addition to the Lorena Duling School was added to the east, with an enclosed passageway providing a link to the original school building. Evidence of the school's prominent role in the community, the auditorium was designed to seat 360 persons and to serve as a place for community meetings and gatherings. To meet the needs of the burgeoning Fondren neighborhood, a major classroom expansion was planned for the Duling School following the close of World War II. In 1947, the two-story addition which featured a cafeteria and seven classrooms was constructed to the east, connecting to the auditorium by an enclosed connecting passage. The 1947 addition was constructed to accommodate the first through third grades, which at the time were witnessing record enrollments as a result of the baby boom. The fourth and fifth grades remained in the original section of the building. When the addition opened, enrollment at the school stood at 383, more than ten times the initial enrollment when the building opened two decades earlier.
In the 1990s, the Jackson Public School district instituted a new program for addressing pupils with discipline problems. Under the new plan, the Lorena Duling School was renamed Duling Alternative and students in grades 1-12 were bussed to Duling from the other 57 district schools. At the start of the 1995 school year, enrollment stood at 26, but it was expected that the student body would grow to 120 pupils.
In 2005, the Jackson Public School District announced the closure of Duling Alternative and the school has since stood vacant. That same year, the Mississippi legislature enacted the School Property Development Act of 2005, which authorized a method for school districts to dispose of unused buildings whereby the districts could recognize maximum economic returns. In accordance with this Act, the Lorena Duling School was identified as the first school building in the state for development under the new legislation.
At the time of construction, Fondren was a village located outside of the Jackson city limits. As the neighborhood began to develop into a desirable middle and upper-middle-class residential community, city leaders recognized the advantages afforded by expanding the city limits to include the growing neighborhood. Anticipating the expansion (which would occur in 1928), the Jackson Public School district agreed to erect a neighborhood elementary school to serve Fondren. The geographic center of Fondren was selected as the site for the school and the building was conceived as an important community anchor and symbol of civic pride. The school was among the first public institutions to be erected in the neighborhood. Once completed, the building served to promote the vitality of Fondren and soon after other community institutions would be established in the surrounding neighborhood. The history of the school with its expansions in the 1930s and 1940s mirrors the pattern of development of the surrounding neighborhood.
City of Jackson
The area that is now Jackson, Mississippi, was first settled in the late 18th Century by Louis LeFleur, a French-Canadian trader. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the surrounding area was traversed by the Natchez Trace, a major trading route for American settlers. In 1821, the Mississippi General Assembly, commissioned Thomas Hinds (for whom Hinds County is named), James Patton and William Lattimore to survey the central part of the state to identify a more central location for the state's capital, which at that time was in Natchez. Having identified the area of Jackson as suitable and bountiful in resources, a legislative Act was passed in late 1821 which authorized the location to be the permanent seat of state government.
The city was named for Andrew Jackson, who would become the nation's seventh president, in recognition for his victory in the War of 1812 in the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson, Mississippi was laid out in 1822 by Peter A. Van Dorn and inspired by the country's third president, Thomas Jefferson. Van Dorn's plan, which was largely unrealized, called for a checkerboard grid with blocks alternating with parks and other open spaces.
In 1840, the railroad arrived in Jackson, linking the city to Vicksburg. The following year, the Jackson to Canton line was chartered and in 1858, a rail line was completed from Jackson to New Orleans. Due in part to the existence of the rail lines, Jackson became a strategic manufacturing center for the Confederacy during the Civil War. In 1863, the Union Army captured Jackson, forcing Confederate forces to flee north toward Canton. The city was ravaged and burned three times by Union troops under the command of William Tecumseh Sherman.
Recovery after the war did not begin in earnest until the early 20th Century. In 1900, less than 8,000 people inhabited the City of Jackson. That number grew to 22,817 by 1920 and by 1930 the city's population swelled to 48,282 residents. This increase in population represented not only increased density within the downtown area, but also marked the beginning of the creation of new automobile-centered neighborhoods to the west and north. These new neighborhoods were occupied by middle and upper-middle-class whites, and the City of Jackson recognized the advantages of expanding the limits of the city to encompass these new prosperous developments.
When the city was first laid out in 1822 the limits encompassed a ½ square mile area. By 1920, the city limits were increased to encompass 5 ½ square miles, and by 1928, the limits were again expanded to include 16 ½ square miles. The 1928 expansion included the Fondren neighborhood.
Jackson Public Schools
The establishment and expansion of the Jackson public school district parallels the growth and development of the city. Until the late 19th Century, students in Jackson attended small, ungraded schools. In 1888, a group of interested and influential citizens urged the City Council and the school trustees, to establish a centralized graded school system for whites. In January 1889, the pupils and staff from the ungraded schools were moved into the new Central School building, the first graded school for whites, which was located at the corner of North West and E. Griffith Streets. Enrollment at the school the first year totaled 321 in grades 1-9." Within a decade, a tenth grade was added. The Central School educated whites only, as "colored" students attended separate schools. In 1897, the district's second graded school for whites opened, the West Jackson School.
In 1900, Edward L. Bailey was made superintendent, a position he would hold for thirty-three years. During Bailey's first year, enrollment stood at 527 in the Central School, 238 in the West Jackson School and 457 in the "Negro School." Under Bailey's leadership, the district recognized previously unprecedented growth.
In 1902, City Council directed the Trustees of the Public Schools to commence with the construction of a new elementary school for whites to relieve the crowded conditions of the Central School. The following year, the Robert E. Lee School opened on S. President Street. Very shortly after its opening, enrollment reached capacity. In 1906, the Jefferson Davis School (elementary) opened with Lorena Duling as principal. In 1907, the district decided to convert the Central School into the city's first high school and the building was renamed Jackson Central High School. That same year, the George School (elementary) opened on the corner of S. Gallatin and W. Winter and an annex was added to the "Negro School" building. Enrollment of "colored" pupils continued to swell, and in 1912 the Jim Hill School was constructed at 1060 Lynch Street to alleviate the overcrowding. Meanwhile, to accommodate the continued growth of the white population, in 1916, the Power School (elementary) opened at the corner of N. State Street and E. Pinehurst Street. In 1921, the Barr School (elementary) opened at the corner of W. Capitol and S. Ethelmore.
In 1922, the Jackson Public School District operated seven elementary schools for whites (Jefferson Davis, Galloway, George, Robert E. Lee, Poindexter, Barr, Power), one high school for whites (Jackson Central High School) and two "colored schools" (Jim Hill and Smith Robinson).
There was, at the time, much speculation that the city might again expand its limits to include the developing communities to the north and west. In anticipation of the expansion, the school board commissioned architect Claude H. Lindsley to design two schools for the growing communities west and north of the city. In 1927, Lindsley's Whitefield School opened to serve the new neighborhood to the west and the Lorena Duling School opened to serve the growing Fondren neighborhood to the north.
The Fondren neighborhood of Jackson is located approximately three miles north of the city center. Today, the boundaries are generally defined by: Northside Drive to the north, Woodrow Wilson Drive to the south, Interstate 55 to the east, and the Illinois Central Railroad tracks to the west. When the Lorena Duling School was constructed, the areas east of Woodland Hills and north of Eminence Row were largely undeveloped.
In the early decades of the nineteenth century, the area now known as Fondren was part of a 5,000-acre plantation. Immediately following the Civil War, the land in the southwest portion of the 5,000-acre tract (extending north of what is now the intersection of North State Street and Old Canton Road; present-day Fondren), was purchased by Isham Cade, a black man believed to be of African descent. Cade had the property surveyed and sold individual lots and a small village grew. Immediately south of the village was the State Lunatic Asylum which had opened in 1848. Many of the village's early inhabitants worked at the asylum.
In 1893, David Fulton Fondren opened the D.F. Fondren & Company Grocery Store at the intersection of what is now known as State Street and Old Canton Road. Two years later, Fondren was appointed postmaster of the settlement which was officially known as Asylum Heights and informally as "Sylum Hill." Residents of the community objected to the association with the State Asylum and successfully petitioned the post office to change the official name to Fondren, Mississippi. David Fondren remained one of the community's most prominent citizens for decades, serving as postmaster for 33 years and maintaining his grocery store at the first location for 37 years and then across the street at 2715 North State Street until 1953, when the store finally closed.
In 1906, Fondren and his nephew, Elmore Douglass Greaves, established a real estate business which would become a leading influence in the development of the neighborhood of Fondren. Fondren, at the time, was a sparsely developed community with small lots within a close walk of the State Street streetcar line. Fondren and Greaves envisioned a neighborhood of suburban-style single-family housing that recalled the planned suburban developments that were inspired by the Garden City Movement. Believing that the neighborhood's proximity to the asylum might deter residents from purchasing property in Fondren, David Fondren and Elmore Greaves utilized their political connections to seek closure of the state facility. Evidence of their influence in the city, in 1918, the patients were moved out of the overcrowded asylum, and the site was eventually sold to the University of Mississippi and became home to their medical center. Once the asylum closed, the development of Fondren began in earnest.
The 1920s and 1930s wave of development in Fondren was automobile centered with larger lots (typically 80' x 160') laid on curvilinear streets that reflected modern trends in urban planning. The architecture represented in the neighborhood from this period reflects most styles popular during the period from the revivals styles to the Art Deco. The commercial structures that date from this period are located along State Street and, are primarily one and two stories in height with flat roofs, with some exceptions. The residential architecture is primarily one and two-story Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival houses sited on large grass-covered lots.
As the neighborhood developed, the city leaders recognized the advantages in extending the city limits to include the affluent new communities that had been built to the west and north of the city. In 1928, an ordinance was passed that expand the city limits to include Fondren and the newly built neighborhoods west of the city. It was the first time in the city's history that the city was expanded to include an already developed community. The city then provided new street lights, sewerage, fire protection, sidewalks, and gutters to conform to the rest of the city. The city also instructed the street railway company to pave between its tracks to accommodate the influx of automobiles in the neighborhood.
As the residential neighborhood of Fondren was taking shape, the social and cultural institutions that form the framework for the neighborhood also came into being. In 1927, the Duling School opened as Fondren's first school building and one of the first public institutional buildings to be erected in the neighborhood. Before the Duling School was built, the elementary school students who resided in the neighborhood would have attended either the Power School (located approximately 1.5 miles south) or the Galloway School (located approximately 2 miles southwest). The establishment of an elementary school in Fondren marked a major commitment to the neighborhood on the part of the city. The school was an important catalyst for the development of the community as potential residents were assured of a walkable neighborhood school for their young children. Construction of the school generated much excitement in the neighborhood and fostered continued growth.
A number of religious denominations sought to establish congregations in the growing neighborhood of Fondren. As early as 1908, a small wooden building had been constructed on Mitchell Avenue (two blocks west of the Duling School) that was shared amongst the Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians. That building burned in 1929, leaving no formal place for worship in the community. A survey was undertaken by the Baptist Church in 1930 to determine whether the construction of a church building in Fondren would be worthwhile. That survey revealed that the neighborhood of Fondren at that time included 525 families with a total population in excess of 2,000. The survey projected that the population would continue to increase at a rapid pace and the prospects for the community were bright.
As a result of that survey, the Woodland Hills Baptist Church (3327 Old Canton Road) was formally organized in 1930 as the Northside Baptist Church and the congregation first met in a building at North State Street and Mitchell Avenue, two blocks west of their present building. St. Luke's United Methodist Church located directly across from the Lorena Duling School (621 Duling Avenue) opened its existing church building in 1930. The Fondren Presbyterian Church (3220 Old Canton Road) was also organized in 1930 and initially met in a nearby residential structure.
Development of Fondren stalled during the Depression and World War II, but immediately following the war another significant wave of development occurred. The post-World War II development consisted of small Colonial Revival ranch-style houses and small one and two-story commercial establishments along State Street. Fondren became the location of the city's first major suburban shopping center, known as the Morgan Center at the time it opened in 1946, and known today as the Woodland Hills Shopping Center (located directly across Duling Street from the Lorena Duling School).
Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, the residents of Fondren were educated at the Duling School, they worshipped at one of three neighborhood churches, they found employment at the nearby Medical Center, and they shopped at the stores along State Street and at the shopping center across Duling Street. The Duling School remained a community landmark, playing an important role in the lives of the Fondren residents throughout most of the twentieth century.
Claude H. Lindsley, Architect
Claude Henry Lindsley (1894-1969) was born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1894. After working as a draftsman in the office of Xavier A. Kramer, Lindsley worked for the United States Shipping Board for a brief stint during World War I. After the war, he joined into partnership with Kramer for several years, under the name Kramer & Lindsley. After 1923, Lindsley maintained an independent practice, before moving to Houston, Texas in 1937. Lindsley died in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in 1969 and is buried in Jackson.
Lindsley's independent practice was prolific and included many notable commissions including: the Governor Hugh White House in Columbia (built 1925), Old Natchez General Hospital in Natchez (built 1925), Mississippi Power and Light Building in Jackson (built 1928), Standard Life Building in Jackson (built c. 1929), and the Hinds County Courthouse in Jackson (built 1930). In addition, Lindsley completed scores of commissions for school and universities including: Jackson Public Schools (Central High School - built 1923, Lorena Duling School 1927, Whitfield School 1927, Robert E. Lee School 1929), Alcorn State University (Rowan Administration Building - built 1928, Harmon Hall - built 1929), Delta State University (Ward Hall - built 1929, Broom Hall - built 1929, Scott Dining Hall - built 1930) Mississippi University for Women (Demonstration Hall - built 1929, Martin Hall - built 1929, Fant Hall - built 1929-30) Mississippi State University (Lloyd-Ricks Hall - built 1929, Herbert Hall - built 1929, Bowen Hall - built 1929).
The commission for the Lorena Duling School and the contemporaneous Whitfield School were among the first projects awarded to Lindsley upon the establishment of his independent practice. Lindsley's first independent project was the design of the Central High School in Jackson in 1923. With the success of this commission, the Jackson Public School Board retained Lindsley for the design of the Lorena Duling School and Whitfield School just four years later. Immediately following the Lorena Duling School were the designs for the Robert E. Lee School. With established success in the design of elementary and high school buildings, Lindsley was commissioned by numerous colleges and universities in Mississippi. His office building commissions in downtown Jackson rank among the most significant architectural landmarks in the city.
The Lorena Duling School is located on Duling Avenue, between State Street and Old Canton Road in Jackson, Mississippi. Specifically, the building occupies part of Lots 2 and 3 of the Fannie Brown Estate, Plat Book "A". Designed by architect Claude H. Lindsley and constructed in 1927, the one-story, Tudor Revival style building was constructed as a neighborhood elementary school. In 1936, an auditorium was added to the east, which connects to the original section by an enclosed passage. In 1947, a two-story classroom and cafeteria addition was constructed east of the auditorium and connects to the auditorium by a one-story enclosed passage. The building continued in use as a school until 2005 at which time it was vacated.
The building is located on the north side of Duling Avenue, which is an east-west street that spans one city block between State Street and Old Canton Road in the southern section of the Fondren Neighborhood of Jackson. The Fondren neighborhood is located approximately three miles north of the city center and is bounded on the north by Northside Drive, to the south by Woodrow Wilson Drive, to the east by Interstate 55 and to the west by the Illinois Central Railroad tracks. The commercial center of Fondren is marked by the Y-junction of State Street and Old Canton Road, two blocks south of the Duling School. State Street is the main commercial thoroughfare with predominately one and two-story flat-roofed structures, with some larger buildings interspersed. Old Canton Road, another main thoroughfare through Fondren, contains a mixture of commercial structures to the south near State Street, two churches near Duling Avenue, and residential architecture to the north. South of the junction of State Street and Old Canton Road is the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Veterans Memorial Stadium, the largest landmarks in the neighborhood. North of the Duling School is predominately residential with one and two-story detached houses constructed predominately between 1920 and 1950 in various adaptations of the revival styles. There are two residential subdivisions in Fondren. Directly east, across Old Canton Street near Duling Avenue, is the Woodland Hills subdivision which contains larger single-family detached houses that were built between the 1920s and 1950s on curvilinear streets. In the northernmost section of Fondren, near Northside Drive and Meadowbrook Road, is the Broadmeadow subdivision, which was a post-WWII subdivision for returning soldiers.
The Duling School property is an irregularly shaped parcel comprised of 4.2 acres. The site is bounded on the west by the north-south running State Street which is the main commercial and retail thoroughfare in Fondren with one and two-story flat-roofed early 20th century buildings. To the east of the school property is the north-south oriented Old Canton Road which contains a mixture of small commercial buildings to the south, churches near Duling Avenue, and residential structures to the north. Immediately north of the school property is a residential neighborhood containing one and two-story Colonial Revival architecture that predominantly dates from the 1920s through 1950s. Directly south of the school building across Duling Avenue is St. Luke's United Methodist Church and the Woodland Hills Shopping Center.
The school building is oriented along Duling Avenue and the grading of the site is such that the school sits approximately ten feet above street grade with a grass slope forming the boundary between sidewalk and school proper. Immediately west of the school is a paved open lot. East of the school is an open grass-covered area that gently slopes down to Old Canton Road. To the rear of the school is an open grass-covered area that served as athletic fields for the school.
The Lorena Duling School is comprised of three sections which are linked by enclosed passageways. The original 1927 section is organized in a modified E-plan with the legs of the "E" extending toward the rear and forming exterior courtyard spaces. The two latter additions are organized in a rectangular plan.
The original 1927 section to the west and the center 1936 auditorium sections are constructed of load-bearing exterior masonry walls finished on the interior with plaster. These sections are built over crawl spaces with wood frame foundations with wood joists. In the interior, the load-bearing walls in these sections are wood frame with plaster finish. The roof structures are wood truss.
The 1947 addition to the east rises two stories and is constructed of load-bearing masonry walls finished on the interior with plaster. This section is built on a concrete slab at grade. In the interior, the load-bearing walls are terra cotta block with plaster finish. The roof structure is steel.
The Lorena Duling School was constructed in 1927 in the Tudor Revival Style. Additions were added in 1936 and 1947 that each reflect the application of the Tudor Revival style with more simplistic details successively. The original 1927 section and the auditorium addition are one story in height, while the 1947 addition rises two stories. The building is unified by the red brick facing, terra cotta and cast stone ornamentation and flat roofs with brick parapets.
The 1927 section is constructed of red brick with terra cotta ornamentation applied to entrance surrounds, window labels, belt courses, quoins and stepped parapets.
The 5-bay main (south) facade of the 1927 section has a centered main entrance with a double-leaf paneled wood door with six lights per leaf, set beneath a 12-light arched transom. Above the main entrance, the parapet is stepped and crenelated to denote the entrance. Fenestration is provided by 6/6 wood windows that are paired and grouped in five. At each end of the elevation is an unfenestrated brick block embellished with patterned brickwork and topped by crenelated parapets.
The 5-bay west facade also has a centered entrance with multi-light, double-leaf glazed doors set beneath a 12-light transom. Above the entrance, the parapet is stepped to denote the entrance. Fenestration is provided by 6/6 wood windows organized in single bays and grouped in five.
The rear (north) elevation of the original section contains the projecting legs of the "E" with loggias in the recesses. The loggias are formed by columns connected by flattened pointed arches. Modern metal railings have been installed between the columns. The rear extensions are fenestrated by flattened pointed arched windows with hood moldings that face the open courts. Four doors provide access to the interior from the rear elevation. Each door is a single-leaf paneled wood door with 9 lights topped by a six-light transom. The windows on the rear elevation are 6/6wood windows that are paired.
The auditorium addition is constructed of red brick with terra cotta ornamentation in the form of entrance surrounds, belt courses and quoins. Entrance to this section is gained on the south (primary) elevation through three adjacent paneled 9-light double-leaf wood doors beneath 19 light pointed arch wood transoms. The rear elevation of the auditorium contains patterned brickwork, but no fenestration.
The 1947 addition is also red brick with cast stone quoins and window labels. The main elevation is organized in three sections with a centered entrance flanked by unfenestrated brick walls embellished by patterned brick with cast stone details. The entrance contains a double-leaf paneled wood door with 9 lights per leaf topped by a 12-light wood transom. Directly above the entrance is a 6/6 wood window flanked by 4/4 windows. The entrance and windows are slightly recessed from the wall plane and are embellished by a brick surround with cast stone quoins and a cast stone decorative shield. The parapet on this elevation is crenelated.
The east elevation is organized into three bays and is more simplistic in treatment with red brick walls ornamented by cast stone quoins and hood moldings. There are no entrances on this elevation. Fenestration is provided by 6/6 wood windows. At the first story, the fenestration pattern is 7-1-7, while the second story is 5-3-5.
The rear or north elevation is constructed of red brick with cast stone quoins serving as the only ornamentation. The center of the three bays contains paired 6/6 wood windows. There are no other windows at the second story. At the first story, 6/6 wood windows grouped in three are located in the easternmost bay. The westernmost bay contains a single-leaf paneled wood door with 9 lights, sheltered by a simple metal canopy. Beside the door is a pair of 6/6 wood windows that have been altered by installation of ventilation grilles.
Each section of the building contains a rectangular floor plan. The 1927 section is oriented with the long axis parallel to Duling Avenue, while the additions are oriented with the short axis parallel to the street.
The main entrance on the south elevation of the 1927 section accesses an interior entry hall that leads directly to an east-west double-loaded corridor that runs the length of the building. The finishes in the entry hall and corridor include; exposed plywood subfloors, unornamented plaster walls and ceilings, wood baseboard, chair rail and picture rail. Paneled single-leaf wood doors with 9-lights provide access to the classrooms and offices and are topped by a 6-light transom in certain locations. There are several interior 6-light wood transoms that provide light into the corridors. The offices flank the entry hall and contain wood floors, unornamented plaster walls and ceilings, and wood baseboard, chair rail and picture rail. At each of the four corners are the classrooms. The classrooms contain exposed plywood subfloors, unornamented plaster walls and ceilings, and wood baseboard, window trim, chair rail and picture rail. The classrooms each contain a built-in bookcase located on an interior partition wall that forms the coatroom. On two walls in each classroom are blackboards that have been converted to whiteboards. The classroom in the southwest corner has been partitioned with 1970s wood paneled walls. North of the main corridor and roughly centered in the building are the toilet rooms and the cafeteria. The toilet rooms contain painted concrete floors, unornamented plaster walls and ceilings and mid-century metal stall partitions. The cafeteria contains a tile floor and base, unornamented plaster walls and ceilings, and wood chair rail.
The auditorium was subdivided to create two additional classrooms in the latter part of the 20th century. The original stage and a section of seating area remains at the north end. The classrooms contain exposed plywood subfloors, acoustic tile suspended ceilings and drywall walls. There are sections of wood baseboard and chair rail that survive. The window trim is wood.
The auditorium contains a sloping wood floor, plaster walls, acoustic tile ceiling, and wood baseboard, chair rail and window trim. The stage is elevated and reached by a short set of wood steps. A painted wood proscenium frames the stage area. The stage floor is wood and the side and rear walls are painted brick.
The 1947 classroom addition is two stories in height and contains an exterior entrance on the south elevation. The footprint of the addition is rectangular with a cross-shaped corridor system dividing the four rooms per floor. The corridors are finished with terrazzo floors and bases, and unornamented plaster walls and ceilings. The doors leading to the classrooms are flush steel with a small glass window and are topped by 6-light transoms. At the lower level, the rooms in the southwest, and northeast corners are classrooms. The classroom in the northeast corner has been subdivided into two classrooms. The room in the northwest corner serves as the kitchen and cafeteria. At the upper level, the room in the northwest corner has been subdivided into offices. The remaining three rooms are classrooms. In the offices, classrooms and cafeteria, the floors are concrete at the lower level and exposed plywood subfloors at the upper level. The walls are unornamented plaster and the ceilings are a combination of plaster and acoustic tile. The windows contain wood trim. In some locations, metal lockers and wood built-ins survive in the classrooms. The blackboards have been converted to whiteboards. A U-shaped stair is centered on the south wall and provides access between the first and second floors. The stair contains terrazzo treads and risers with a low plaster knee wall forming the stringer. Toilet rooms are located on the upper level and contain terrazzo floors and bases, unornamented plaster walls and ceilings, and late 20th-century fixtures.
Enclosed passageways serve to link the three sections (1927 section, 1936 auditorium, 1947 addition). The passageway between the 1927 section and 1936 auditorium contains a concrete and tile floor, concrete base, exposed brick walls, and terra cotta window labels and door surrounds. The ceilings are unornamented plaster. The passageway between the 1936 auditorium and 1947 addition is more simplistic in treatment with terrazzo floor and base, and unornamented plaster walls and ceilings. The window trim is wood. A stair with terrazzo treads and risers and plaster walls with a simple wood handrail provides access from the passageway to the lower level of the 1947 addition.