I have always been fascinated with the Highland Avenue School. Not only was it once the high school, but it
reminded me of my grandfather’s ancient house with its uneven, creaky wood
floors and dark corners. Being gone without a trace adds to its mystery.
So, I was interested in an article on the history of the school in the1968 booklet
commemorating Lansdowne’s 75th anniversary that Nancy Musser lent
me. According to the diagram (see below), in 1911 the Highland Avenue School occupied the entire block of
Highland Avenue, Baltimore Pike, Lansdowne Avenue, and Lacrosse Avenue. The corner of Baltimore Pike and Lansdowne Avenue was a large grassy area with a central flagpole.
The school was planned as a one-story building by the Upper Darby school system, but local
Lansdowne leaders financed a second floor to be used as a borough hall. By the time it was built, however, the school needed both floors. There was no money to build separate rooms in the cavernous second floor, and for the first year the classrooms and principal’s office were simply marked off in chalk. It apparently worked well according to Principal Emilie Groce who said the children were good about staying in their proper areas.
By the time we got there, the buildings were F, A, and B. Building F was the background in our class pictures (see the August 18, 2005 blog) and was built in 1909-1910. The diagram says buildings C were demolished in 1950, but we were there then, and I do not remember them.
I recollect an A&P and its parking lot on that spot. Can anyone help with their memories?
Roger Walck. RWalck@Verizon.net
(Double click on diagram to enlarge)