11. North Franklin Elementary School (1920)
Location: 1122 N. Hague Avenue Columbus, OH 43204
Owner: South-Western City School District
Franklin Township was reduced to its present size in 1819 and over the years continued to be committed to a good education for its children. More and more of the township was absorbed by Columbus, Hilliard, Grove City and Valleyview. But for most of its history, Franklin Township was a rural community. In 1857, there were 676 children in the township between the ages of five and twenty-one years who attended one of ten district school houses.
One of those school houses was on what is now Hague Avenue on land owned by the heirs of pioneer settler George Skidmore. The original school was a log cabin but by 1866 it had been replaced by a two-story stone building that came to be known as the Skidmore School.
In 1920, in the wake of education reform across the State of Ohio, funding was allocated to build a new township school across the street from the original Skidmore School. Designed by William H. Tremaine, the four room school house was constructed by the firm of Davies and Davies in traditional American foursquare tradition. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s a major addition was made to the original building as a project of what would later be called the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Plaques on the building recall both its original construction and the addition.
In recent years, the Skidmore School has come to be called the North Franklin Elementary School of the South-Western City School District. It will close at the end of this 2016 school year and the district intends to demolish the building to avoid ongoing maintenance, resulting in the absence of a school on or near the site for the first time in over 150 years.
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!