Washington School granted historical status

The Wisconsin Historical Society has announced the listing of the Washington Elementary School in the city of Sheboygan on the National Register of Historic Places. National Register designation provides access to certain benefits, including qualification for grants and for rehabilitation income tax credits, while it does not restrict private property owners in the use of their property.

The Washington School is a good example of a modern grade school in the Neoclassical Revival style designed by a prominent architect. Designed by the architectural firm of H.C. Koch and Son of Milwaukee and constructed in 1911- 1912, the Washington School served as a grade school until its closing in 2013.

The school was built to relieve overcrowding in Sheboygan’s Eighth Ward School and Horace Mann Elementary School. H.C. Koch & Son’s design for the school incorporated fireproof construction; interior spaces included classrooms, an office, library, and two large reception rooms to serve the needs of pupils from kindergarten through eighth grade, reflecting the expansion of public education and the growth of the city of Sheboygan. Two additions were completed in 1926, adding a gymnasium and nine classrooms.

With its original spatial layout including corridors, classrooms with minor alterations, and stairs remaining intact, the Washington School’s original 1911 building, along with its 1926 additions, is a good local example of an early twentieth century graded school. The red brick building displays a number of important character-defining characteristics typical of twentieth century Neoclassical Revival style architecture.

The register is the official national list of historic properties in America deemed worthy of preservation and is maintained by the National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Wisconsin Historical Society administers the program within Wisconsin. It includes sites, buildings, structures, objects and districts that are significant in national, state or local history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.

To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.


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