Friday, May 21, 2010

Madison School, Corner Cary and Madison St. (1872-1973) and Playground Kids, 1940s.

 
Madison Playground, 1940s
I love the dress up this kids (now probably in their late 70s/early 80s)
are wearing. And look how they decorate their bikes.
Image courtesy Richmond Parks and Recreation. 
For Much Larger View, Click on Image Once, then Click Again

There's a great online resource created and maintained by the Richmond Public Schools Board entitled "Richmond Public Schools: A Mini History: Bits & Pieces" - It lists all known, past and present, Richmond Public Schools.

They describe the index of schools as such: "Much of the history of the Richmond Public Schools was recorded in the context of a segregated society, and the reader should readily discern between pre- and post-desegregation observations.  The terms “black,” “colored,” “Negro,” and “white” in this booklet should not be considered offensive as they have been used according to the custom of the particular period.  Since 1962, the division has omitted such racial designations from its reports and publications."

Madison School
101 South Madison Street (Corner Cary & Madison Street)
Named for the adjacent street which commemorates the name of James Madison, fourth President of the United States.

On January 1, 1872, the School Board authorized the purchase of a lot at this location for the site of a new school to replace rented rooms on Cherry Street. For the first three months of the 1872-73 session, classes were scattered in various parts of the district in such rooms as could be rented; the new eight-room school was occupied January 1, 1873. It was reported that the building "is an ornament to that portion of the city." As the community grew, it became necessary to add four more rooms in 1888.

Blown up view of the image above.

On January 1, 1872, the School Board authorized the purchase of a lot at this location for the site of a new school to replace rented rooms on Cherry Street. For the first three months of the 1872-73 session, classes were scattered in various parts of the district in such rooms as could be rented; the new eight-room school was occupied January 1, 1873. It was reported that the building "is an ornament to that portion of the city." As the community grew, it became necessary to add four more rooms in 1888.

In 1912, this school was replaced by a more modem building of twenty-four rooms and a roof garden. For the 1911-12 session and the first months of the 1912-13 school year, classes were conducted at Grace Arents and at St. Andrew's School (corner of Cherry & Cumberland Streets) until the new Madison was occupied in December. (The 1914-15 annual report includes picture and floor plan of Madison School by School Architect Charles M. Robinson.)


Another view of Madison School.
Image courtesy Richmond Parks and Recreation.

Madison housed Richmond's first open-air school, a tent-like structure on the roof garden where the tuberculosis patients lived and slept. It was regarded as a separate school and is said to have been the first of its kind in Virginia and one of the first in the United States. In 1933-34, a general industrial arts laboratory was installed for sixth grade pupils.

Madison School was closed in June 1968; the building was demolished in 1973, to make way for an expressway. [Another victim of the Richmond Expressway! - Ray B.]. Approximately.4 acre of the playground was transferred to the Safety Department for a fire station at Jefferson & Canal.
Enrollment:
1874-1875 691
1912-1913 871
June 1968 368 (final)
Architect:
1912 Charles M. Robinson
Cost:
1912 $97,681
Original Building 18,104
Lot 821
The City owned part of the lot (valued at $2,000) and appropriated it to Madison School.
Principals:
1872-1876 E. W.Cone
1876-1887 John A. Cunningham, Jr.
1887-1939 William G . Jones
1939-1943 DeWitt C. Beery
1943-1958 Clyde Busby
1958-1968 Nellie Celeste Jones 

 Learn more about Richmond's Public School History at:

- Ray B. 

5 comments:

William Callahan said...

I went to that school the last year it was open. 1968 I think. The play ground looked exactly the same as it did in the above photo.

dee said...

I attended Madison School about 1958-1960, second, & third grades when Mrs. Jones was principal. I lived on Main Street at the corner of Cherry Street and walked to school each day. Crossing Belvedere Hwy. was dangerous. We had no crossing guards. We passed by the Wonder Bread factory each day. The aromas were wonderful. Once a year we did a class trip to the factory and received a tiny loaf of bread. I remember being on the playground and seeing the horse drawn milk cart carrying the days delivery. The playground was blacktop and very destructive to my black and white saddle shoes.

Harvey Purcell said...

As an adult in the 198o's I finally met 1 other person who went to Madison, she lived in Oregon Hill. I lived on Grace St at Laurel St when I started school at age 5. She was working at a local bank and I went to work there. One day we discovered that we had both gone to Madison and never came across anyone else that had. I had Mrs Gordon for junior primary (kindergarden then) the first year and then had her again the next year for JP 2 ( first grade ) for half a year until we moved to Montrose Hghts in the east end of Richmond and attended another school that has closed down also, Robert Fulton Elementry. We walked down Laurel St ,thru Monroe park across Main ST and crossed Bellvedere at Cary St.

Harvey Purcell said...

Oh forgot to say , the years I attended Madison were Sept 1961-June 1962 Sept 1962-March 1963

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