Horace Mann Elementary School

The very first post for Tower Grove South was way back in April of 2009, almost two years after I started St. Louis Patina, and it was about the threatened demolition of Mann Elementary School. That seems like a million years ago, figuratively, since the school is doing very well, with a strong enrollment and little chance of being demolished now.

Opened in 1901, the school memorialized Horace Mann, the famous revolutionary Nineteenth Century educator. It is also typical of some Ittner/Milligan schools in that it does not have a central portal, but rather flanking twin entrances, similar to Mullanphy Elementary in Shaw†and Dunbar. Perhaps it is not surprising, but as can be seen below in this photo from c. 1901, the school seems to have been designed and built in phases.

Horace Mann School, 4047 Juniata, c. 1901, Missouri History Museum, N33231

I like the design of this school, as it is simple and streamlined, and I would describe it as Tudor Revival, even if there are much more elaborate examples of that style in the St. Louis Public School system.

It is also one of those schools where there is a giant asphalt playground out front, which was certainly not the original landscaping plan, but nonetheless is what is now the present situation.

The most detailed ornament is on the compressed arch above one of the two main entrances.

The two copper cupolas also are a nice touch to the otherwise simple roofline.

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