Gladstone School (Pittsburgh)

Gladstone School is a historic public school in the Hazelwood neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It operated between 1914 and 2001, serving at various times as an elementary school, a junior high or middle school, and a high school. The school’s mascot was the Gladiators. Pittsburgh Public Schools sold the vacant property to a community group in 2016. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021.

United States historic place
Gladstone School

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Location 327 Hazelwood Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coordinates

40°24′44″N79°56′27″W

Built 1914, 1923, 1926
Architect O. M. Topp
Architectural style Collegiate Gothic
NRHP reference No. 100006988
Added to NRHP September 17, 2021[1]

The school consists of two buildings, both in the Collegiate Gothic style. The main building was designed by O. M. Topp and was built in two phases, which were completed in 1914 and 1923, respectively. The annex building was added in 1926 along with a pedestrian bridge to join the two buildings.

. . . Gladstone School (Pittsburgh) . . .

The school opened in October 1914 with a capacity of 350 elementary-grade students.[2] An addition in 1923 increased the number of classrooms from 14 to 26 and allowed the school to also enroll junior-high students.[3][4] In 1926, a three-story annex opened next to the original building, bringing the school’s capacity to 1,290 students. The annex included a swimming pool, two gymnasiums, wood, metal, and electric shops, and facilities for art, music, drafting, and millinery.[5]

By the 1950s, Hazelwood’s demographics had shifted from primarily Eastern European to primarily African American.[6] To accommodate the age and population changes in the neighborhood, Gladstone was expanded to a senior high school in 1960.[7] The school was scheduled to close in 1976 as part of a Pittsburgh Board of Education plan to reduce segregation in the district.[8] After pressure from neighborhood residents, it ultimately remained open as a middle school, but the elementary and high school grades were eliminated. The high school students were bused to the new, majority-white Brashear High School in Beechview.[9]

Gladstone closed in 2001[10] and has remained vacant since. In 2016, Pittsburgh Public Schools sold the property to a community group which planned to use it as a community center and affordable housing.[11]

Gladstone School consists of two rectangular buildings which are oriented perpendicular to each other and joined by a pedestrian bridge. The main school building, on the east side, was designed by local architect O. M. Topp and was built in two phases. The front section was completed in 1914 and the rear section was added in 1923. A further addition at the rear was completed in 1965. The annex building on the west side was completed in 1926. Both buildings are three stories high with raised basements and are designed in the Collegiate Gothic style.[6]

  1. “National Register of Historic Places Weekly List 2021-09-17”. National Park Service. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  2. “New School Opened”. Pittsburgh Gazette Times. October 20, 1914. Retrieved November 9, 2021 via Newspapers.com.
  3. “School Additions To Cost $900,000”. Pittsburgh Press. July 18, 1922. Retrieved November 9, 2021 via Newspapers.com.
  4. “Ten Changes Made in Principalships of Local Schools”. Pittsburgh Press. September 3, 1923. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  5. “$14,000,000 Worth of Schools to Be Pittsburgh’s Boast”. Pittsburgh Press. December 27, 1925. Retrieved November 9, 2021 via Newspapers.com.
  6. “Gladstone School”. National Park Service. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  7. “Gladstone Moves Up”. Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph. November 6, 1959. Retrieved November 10, 2021 via Newspapers.com.
  8. Nilsson, David (December 24, 1975). “Board OKs Brashear Plan, Fifth, Gladstone Closing”. Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved November 10, 2021 via Newspapers.com.
  9. Benic, Thomas B. (July 1, 1976). “Fifth Avenue High Closes, Memories Will Linger On”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 10, 2021 via Newspapers.com.
  10. Chute, Eleanor (December 22, 2000). “Closings hit home”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 10, 2021 via Newspapers.com.
  11. Behrman, Elizabeth (August 10, 2018). “Commonwealth Court upholds sale of former Gladstone school building to community coalition”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
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