Sunday, December 9, 2007

New West Roxbury High School Addition

This article was trouble to transcribe. The bottom of the page seemed to be cut off by at least one line, and some sentences are difficult to interpret as written. I'd like to know what they mean by recitation rooms.

Boston Daily Globe November 23, 1901

Handsome West Roxbury High School Building On Elm St. Jamaica Plain, Dedicated.

The handsome new West Roxbury high school building on Elm st Jamaica Plain, was dedicated last evening in the presence of a large gathering of pupils, graduates and friends.

Shortly after 7:30 the exercises opened with the "Recessional" by a chorus of graduates and pupils. The address of welcome was given by Dr William J. Gallivan, president of the school committee. Robert D. Andrews, of Andrews, Jacques & Rantoul, the architects, made the speech of presentation of the building to William F. Merritt, chairman of the committee on new buildings, who gave the keys to Dr Gallivan. The latter in turn presented the school to George C. Mann, headmaster.

After the singing of "The Angel" by a chorus of female voices an address was delivered by Edwin P. Seaver, superintendent of schools.

The address of the evening was given by Pres Charles W. Eliot of Harvard, who said in part:

[short speech excerpt]

The old West Roxbury high school, so-called, has been allowed to remain as an adjunct of the new building until such time as the demand for additional accommodations will require its removal and the building of the proposed left wing of the present structure.

The present corps of teachers and the branches they teach are: George C. Mann, head master, Mrs Josephine L. Sanborn, English, history, etc; George F. Partridge, mathematics, German, etc; Mary I. Adams, history and English; Blanche G. Wetherbee, mathematics and history; Caroline W. Trask, Latin, German, etc; George A. Cowan, chemistry and physics, etc; Mrs Florence B. Phelan, drawing, Frances B. Wilson, French; Rebecca Kite, biology, gymnastics, etc; Ernest V. Page, commercial branches; Mrs Annie N. Bunker, English, history, etc.

In order to provide for the increasing number of pupils in the school it was decided to alter the old building and build a new one on the adjoining lot to be used in conjunction with it. The alterations in the old building consisted principally of removing the old heating and plumbing systems completely and substituting new work in connection with the systems installed in the addition. The addition and the alterations in the old building were so planned as to make their use as one building easily managed, being connected by means of an enclosed passage on each floor.

A difference of about 40 feet in the grade between Elm st on the front and John A. Andrew st on the rear made [text missing] room and principal's room. This floor also contains three recitation rooms, one triple class room, three single class rooms, book room and toilet room for the men teachers.

A well-lighted assembly hall, having a seating capacity of 618 persons, and provided with stage and anterooms, is provided on the second floor; a separate staircase connects the anterooms with the first floor, basement and street, thus providing a private entrance to the stage. This floor also contains two recitation rooms, three class rooms and toilet rooms for the girls and women teachers.

The gallery and upper part of the assembly hall occupy the front wing of the addition in the third floor. In the rear wing of the addition on this floor there is a lecture room with demonstration tables, raised seats for the pupils, and connecting work room, fitted with cases and suitable apparatus for the instructor, physical laboratory with demonstration table, individual tables the planning of the addition and the grading of the lot(?) difficult problems, and expensive in execution. In order to utilize to the best advantage this difference in the grade a subbasement was built under the rear portion of the addition, in which the boiler room, coal bin and rooms for the heating and ventilating systems are placed.

The basement covers the whole area of the building, and is well lighted throughout. On this floor there is a gymnasium 18 feet in height with a clear floor space 48 feet by 63 feet; a lunchroom convenient for use by both boys and girls, and fitted with complete apparatus for serving warm lunches; boy's bicycle and locker room with entrance at grade, and fitted with 100 individual lockers; toilet accommodations for all the boys in the school, with connecting bath and dressing rooms.

On the first floor, convenient to the main entrance, there is a reception [text missing] for pupils, large soapstone sinks and connecting apparatus room, chemical laboratory provided with individual hoods, finished in enamel tile; individual tables for the pupils, large soapstone sink, and connecting workroom, fitted with apparatus for the use of the instructor, a recitation room, fitted with demonstration table, and especially adapted for the use of the classes using the laboratories; toiled room for the boys.

The demonstration tables and individual tables for the use of the pupils in the laboratories are supplied with soapstone sinks, hot and cold water, gas, electricity, air suction and steam, as their use requires.

In the attic a dark room has been fitted up to meet all the requirements of photography. The service stairs extend to the roof, where a large platform and suitable fittings for the convenient use of a telescope have been provided.

The construction of the addition is fireproof throughout, the floors being of steel beams and terra cotta arches between them, and the partitions of terra cotta blocks. A special iron staircase, enclosed in a brick shaft, has been provided as a second means of exit from all portions of the addition in case of fire.

The principal first floor entrance to the school is in the addition on Elm st, the girls' entrance is in the basement of the old building, and the boys' entrance in the basement of the addition, each convenient locker rooms; special entrances are provided for the gymnasium, boiler room and stage. All the pupils' entrances are accessible from either street.

The free Tudor style is employed in the design of the building, and the materials used are selected common red brick and Indian limestone.

The building has a steep roof covered with grayish blue slate, with copper trimmings.

The interior finish throughout the building is red oak, finished in its natural color, except in the assembly hall. The plaster walls are painted a soft neutral gray in the corridors and a dull green in the class and recitation rooms.

The assembly hall on the second floor has a paneled oak wainscot, and an elliptical ceiling of plaster, handsomely moulded; the wood work is stained nearly black, the plaster walls are a soft red, and the ceiling is white. The floors in the toilet rooms and basement are terrazzo; elsewhere throughout the building are Georgia hard pine.

The grounds about the building have been carefully and completely graded and concrete walk- and driveways provided. The steps in connection with these walks are of bluestone, and sloping buttresses at each side of them are provided for bicycles. The grounds are enclosed by brick and iron fences.

The plans were prepared and the building erected under the superintendence of Andrews, Jaques & Rantoul, architects.

The cost of the general contractor was $162,061.05 of the grading contractor $21,972 of the plumbing contractor $12,080, making the total cost $206,193.

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