Building Description Enumclaw High School, Enumclaw Washington

The Enumclaw High School is an impressive three-story structure constructed of reinforced concrete and faced with red common bond brick. The school dominates the surrounding neighborhood of small frame houses. The building has been enlarged several times, and exhibits an irregular plan; however, its primary facade, facing Porter Street, maintains its original appearance. The restrained ornamentation of the structure is derivative of the Colonial Revival Style.

The Enumclaw High School occupies an entire city block along Porter Street between Kibler and Hillcrest Avenues. A large triangular playing field stretches from the school to the west and is not included in this nomination. The surrounding area consists of one and two story wood frame homes with some multiple family units. Most of these buildings appear to date from 1910 to 1930.

The original composition of the building is distinguished by two distinct, but attached, elements; the main classroom building and the gymnasium. Both share the same structural mode and height and are constructed on a base of reinforced concrete. The facade of the classroom building is symmetrical and divided into five sections by the slightly projecting pavilions at the entrance and north and south ends. Regularly spaced across this entire facade are large twelve-over-twelve double-hung wood sash windows. The windows are such a prominent element of the design that they seem to occupy more space than the brick walls. The windows are detailed with simple brick sills and lintels.

Between the second and third floors is a belt course of vertically laid stretcher bricks. Between the windows of the second and third floor is some decorative brickwork highlighted by cast-stone blocks which almost create the appearance of spandrels. Above the third floor is a simple cast-stone cornice which is topped by a parapet that forms pediments over the projecting pavilions. Other parapet details include cast stone coping and plaques and a cast stone cartouche in the central pediment.

The main entrance to the school is articulated by two large Tuscan columns supporting an entablature and a heavily molded segmentally arched pediment. The words "High School" are incised on the frieze and the word "Junior" has been added in the tympanum. The original doors to the school have been replaced with metal and glass safety doors. However, two wood and glass doors flank the outside edge of the columns. The original transom above the main doors still survives. A marble plaque beside the entrance is inscribed with the words "knowledge is the only fountain of human liberty."

The gymnasium is a large "T" shaped Structure that is attached by means of a wing to the classroom building. The prominent decorative features of this gymnasium are sets of three, tall (nearly two-story), round arched windows that adorn the building on its three primary facades. The windows have wood mullions and are detailed in a modified Palladian motif. These graceful windows and the classroom building's main entrance are clearly inspired by the Georgian period of American Colonial architecture. Other details on the gymnasium include a cast stone cornice, keystones, and small rondels and plaques. Wings "extend from" the north and south sides of the gymnasium's Porter Street elevations and provide entry into the building. The doors have transoms which are capped by plaques and round arch windows. Other windows are square or rectangular multi-pane double-hung sash. The gymnasium has suffered a few alterations. A fire escape was added on the south side and a new door has been cut into the wall. On the south and west elevations, the upper two stories have been sheathed in a processed wood siding that does not complement the rest of the structure. Internally, the building's arrangement of manual arts classrooms on the first floor with a two-story gymnasium above has been maintained.

To the west of the gymnasium is a detached six bay concrete and brick garage.

A large classroom wing parallels Kibler Avenue on the building's north side. This wing was added in 1928 by Thomas and it duplicates much of the design of the original classroom building though the window arrangement has been modified and made less formal by the pairing of windows. This wing was extended to the west in 1938 by the length of one classroom (three pairs of windows). Designed by William Mallis, it imitates Thomas's style.

In 1935, a very large addition was attached to the rear of the original building. This addition was also designed by William Mallis and maintains the standard three stories. This elevation was obviously considered to be visually unimportant, for there is a complete lack of the symmetry and detailing that distinguishes the other facades. Some walls are almost entirely blank except for scattered windows. The utility of the space was the main concern of the architect for this project. A new two story boy's gymnasium was constructed on the southwest corner and a large cafeteria and auditorium were in the center. Much of this addition appears to be constructed of hollow tile with steel roof supports.

Interior features of the original building include wide central halls, hardwood floors, simple door and window surrounds, chair and picture moldings, and built-in cabinets and blackboards. Many of the rooms have been altered, particularly with the addition of dropped ceilings. Some metal safety doors and lockers have also been installed. The 1935 auditorium has moldings around its proscenium, wooden chairs, a slightly arched ceiling supported by steel posts, and shields with the letter "E" over each entrance to the hall.