John J. Roe Elementary School

John J. Roe School, First Building on Mitchell, c. 1900, Missouri History Museum, P0900-S02-00286

Sitting on the west side of Franz Park, John J. Rose Elementary School has existed in two forms over the last century. The first iteration was a Romanesque Revival school, as was typical of many of the more rural buildings in the system.

It was replaced in 1919 by a design by Rockwell M. Milligan of the famed Ittner/Milligan firm, who designed the vast majority of schools in St. Louis.

John J. Roe School, 1921 Prather Ave. September 1927, Missouri History Museum, P0900-S02-00287

As was typical of many of their designs, there is a central portal with a main massing, and then as was needed, one or two wings could be added as needed. In this case, a second wing to the south was never constructed to match the completed northern one.

Unlike some of Milligan’s more adventurous designs, this school is in the Tudor Revival style, which is partner William Ittner preferred.

John J. Roe was pork packer, who owned an estate at Lafayette and South Compton avenues, having first stopped in Cincinnati on his way west, as so many other entrepreneurs who made it big in St. Louis.

Like so many other public schools, Roe also featured a library and auditorium.

John J. Roe School, 1921 Prather Ave. 1925-45, Missouri History Museum, P0900-S02-00288

They were both entered through separate entrances flanking the main portal to the school.

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