On the decline of stately schools

Over at the Education Next blog, Martha Derthick laments the decline of “stately” schools. Derthick specifically highlights the turn-of-the-twentieth-century school buildings in Ohio’s Queen City (which are also featured in 2001’s An Expression of the Community: Cincinnati Public Schools’ Legacy of Art and Architecture). The decline of stately schools has been hastened here in Ohio, where over the past decade the state has poured billions of dollars into renovating and replacing our public schools with the new, modernist buildings Derthick describes. A visit to any of Ohio’s newly built schools will confirm that we’ve moved away from buildings of beauty to buildings of function. I’m certainly in favor of preserving the historic buildings whenever possible, but I see the upside to modernization as well. I attended elementary and high school in the Buckeye State in early 20th century buildings much like those she talks about, both of which have since been replaced with new facilities. But alongside the aesthetic transformations have also come much-needed improvements for modern-day learning. (Read the rest here.)

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