Richard M. Scruggs Elementary School

The former Richard M. Scruggs sits along a busy stretch of South Grand Boulevard, so I had never gotten a chance to photograph it before a recent early Saturday morning when traffic was at a minimum.

W.C. Persons, Scruggs School, 4611 South Grand, 1917-1919, Missouri History Museum, N33301

As this historic photo shows, and I suspect was common with many Itter/Milligan schools, this building was built in phases, with the central core, featuring the distinctive double entrances so common for this architectural firm, built first.

Then, as enrollment increased, the two wings were built one by one. I’ve shown at other grade schools in the public school system that have only one of their two flanking wings constructed, so it must have been common to add on as needed. Scruggs acquired both additions.

I suspect all of these schools came pre-designed to have these additions added at a later date as enrollment required them.

Scruggs is a wonderful example of the Tudor Revival, which is perhaps Itter/Milligans strongest suit of architectural design, emulating the private institutions of Great Britain.

Richard M. Scruggs was one of the partners in the Scruggs, Vandervoort and Barney department store chain, whose flagship was in the old Century and Syndicate Trust buildings downtown. Before dying in 1904, he was known for his philanthropy.

As is typical of these schools, the additional wings are relatively unadorned but still fit in with the original core of the building.

The building creates a strong presence along South Grand.

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