Five Fine Schools
Completed in 1878 Central High School, located 11th Street and 3rd Avenue South looked a little like a court house. The building had thick, stone walls, picturesque towers and turrets clad in polychrome slate. Central was among the first schools furnished with laboratories and other specialized rooms. Forty years later the old high School was described as “deplorable ” for its lack of fireproof stairways, interior boiler rooms, and separation of the manual training and science rooms. The new Central opened in with an enrollment of 1,600 and served 2,200 by
East High School between University and Central was built in 1867. The Minneapolis Public Library established branch at East High School in 1890. It closed in 1924. This postcard is from 1908. The building was razed in 1951. East’s Mascot was a Cardinal.
North High has served the community for over 120 years. The first class of seniors graduated in 1891. The original building grew to be too small for the school and a new building was built, opening in 1896 at a new location. In 1913, a fire destroyed most of the school, but the school was quickly rebuilt the following year. Additions were added in 1921, 1923 and 1939. The current North High School building at 1500 James opened in 1973.
The old South High School building was completed on New Years Day, 1892. The lavish facility featured multiple turrets, stained-glass bay windows and a six-story bell tower. The school board decided against a bell for the tower after repeated visits from a motorized electric bell system salesman. In 1910, new manual and training wings were opened. In 1916 much original structure was razed to make room for a new large square building. The city began demolition on the oldest part of South High School in 1950, but the buildings destruction was met the protests from the neighborhood and the building didn’t come down until 1953. The rest of the old school was torn down. Students continued to use the 1916 portion of the building until 1969. The new South High School opened on 31st the following year.
West High School opened on Hennepin Avenue in 1908. At one point it was the largest school in the district. The building was expanded in 1916 by 1931 the school had 2,268 students. In 1963 class size fell 1016. West closed in 1982 and was demolished in 1984. The old West sign can still be seen at the corner of 28th Street and Hennepin Avenue.