James Monroe School

James Monroe School
Canon Canonet QL17 G-III
Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros

Banking off yesterday’s post, with the photo of me in my second-grade classroom, I thought I’d share this photo of the school building itself, on the south side of South Bend, Indiana. The building was built in stages, the first of which was erected in 1930 and was funded by the Studebaker family. This is the original main entrance in the 1930 part of the building.

Additions in 1946 and 1959 brought the building to its footprint at the time I attended (1972-79). A 2010 renovation and expansion added a great deal of space and relocated the main entrance.

Film Photography, Preservation

single frame: James Monroe School



13 thoughts on “single frame: James Monroe School

  1. I have always been jealous of people who got to attend school in a building like this. My elementary school was the opposite – brand new in 1965. I was there on the day it opened. Funny, my old school is now about as old as yours was when you started school.

  2. DougD says:

    Yeah, I was thinking that too. Every school I went to was built in the early 60s
    Even the University I went to had one nice building, then a bunch of 1970’s concrete blocks.

  3. TBM3FAN says:

    I recall my Catholic school back in 1958-62 was a old two story brick building located in Bogota New Jersey. My two story brick school, in Catonsvile MD, was a newer build. Once in California everything tended to be one story shaped like a shoe box. Efficient, easy to build, but boring.

    However, SDSU, had an older core campus built by the WPA. Then there was UC Berkeley with South Hall from 1873 and then Hearst Mining, Doe, Wheeler Hall, California Hall. Le Conte, Sather Tower (Campanile), and another dozen were done in the Beaux Arts style between 1899-1924.

  4. Dan Cluley says:

    Most of my schooling was in ’50s-’60s one story buildings, but our district did use the old HS, a brick 3 story 1920s building for all the 6th grade classes. Unfortunately I was there the last year it was open, so maintenance had been a little thin for a few years. One weekend, most of the plaster fell off the ceiling in one classroom. The solution was just move that teacher up to one of the empty rooms on the 3rd floor.
    It was an interesting experience, but I did spend part of that spring with a broken foot, and all those stairs on crutches got old fast.

    Fortunately after an empty decade, the building was nicely restored as Senior Citizen apartments.

  5. moparlee says:

    My old high school just celebrated its 125th anniversary, and as you may imagine, it is made of a truly classical architectural work. For the most part, the insides have been maintain as well, with tasteful improvements over the years. However my university was a product of the 60s and was never a beautiful sight to behold.

  6. Mark says:

    Was a student here from 1997-ish through 2006 before aging out and switching to Marshall. Kids at the time referred to it as “Hogwarts” due to the new Harry Potter movie released at the time. Lots of good memories here. The building was to my understanding a historical landmark and could not be changed or altered from its existing structure (pre 2009). I hate the new appearance of it and how they trashed the big expansive playground and sports courts. It looks so ugly and sad now. Even with that 1970s cafeteria addition and L-shaped wing it at least still blended in.

    There is a secret alleyway between two houses that opens up into someone’s driveway at the back corner of the school that is still there, I always took that way into the school in later grades when I had to walk there. I also remember one time a deer ended up in the school yard and smashed through the doors and got stuck in the cafeteria. There was blood all over the place the janitor was cleaning up.

    I also remember there was videos on YouTube in the 2010’s of skateboarders grinding down the cafeteria exit railing but they seem to have been lost to time.

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