5. Indianola Jr. High School (1929)
Location: 420 East 19th Avenue Columbus, OH 43201
Owner: Columbus City Schools
Indianola Junior High School was the first school in the United States that was built specifically to be used as a junior high school. The present school was constructed in 1929. The junior high concept was developed by superintendent of schools Jacob Shawan and OSU president Dr. William Oxley Thompson. The school was designed by Howard Dwight Smith, who would later achieve recognition as the architect of the Ohio Stadium. Built to model a high school, Indianola boasted industrial arts and home economics classrooms, a model apartment for decorating by students, a wood paneled library with working fireplace, and outside terra cotta tiles and stone carvings of bison and woodland animals and a relief of Chief Logan (Tah-ga-jute) done by Dr. Frey (OSU arts faculty and creator of Dr. Thompson’s statue in front of the Main Library). The school is built on the former Indianola Amusement Park. It is listed on both the City of Columbus Historic Register and the National Register, but it is currently mothballed and deteriorating.
Please donate to support a design charette that will seek creative re-use and help determine the “what’s next” for our endangered buildings. Any amount is welcome, thank you!