Fanning Elementary School

What’s now Fanning Middle School, and what will soon be a vacant building, was originally an elementary school. It’s one of the most interesting and architecturally rich of the schools designed by William B. Ittner in 1907.

Fanning School, School Building, December 1938, Missouri History Museum, P0900-19910-01-8a – Copy

Clear views of the school are now blocked by some strange looking trees, but it’s a mix of Spanish and Moorish Revival architecture, with some fantastic brickwork and glazed variations to add subtle decorative motifs in various locations.

Honestly, it will probably end up as luxury condos or apartments, which is what has happened to many former schools in the public school system in St. Louis.

The beautiful arcade on the first and second floors of the entryway show the influence of Northern Africa.

I’ve seen arches like this in Amalfi, in southern Italy.

As far as I can tell, and these were located at each entrance, that this metal strip is a boot scraper, for removing mud before entering the building. They used to be far more common than many people realize.

The twin towers are also great features.

The two wings have their own unique ornament, as well.

Below, note the similarity of the quarter circle ornament to that on the roofline of many Anheuser-Busch Brewery buildings such as the Barley Cleaning House.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Steve Butler says:

    I just looked at it as one of the best designed school buildings that was bright and sunny. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized so many St Louis Pubic School buildings were designed to be light and sunny with great architecture.
    My first school , Mark Twain, was similar as was RHS.

  2. Gloria Parker says:

    I wish I could just walk the halls one more time before it get destroyed. I also wish I could metal detect the yard. It would be fun to see what I could fine.
    I hope someone can put it together for me

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