Old Glenn Avenue School - Kelowna, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 49° 53.110 W 119° 29.278
11U E 321280 N 5528830
Quick Description: A somewhat less than comely building, this onetime school continues to serve the young people of Kelowna as a youth centre.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 8/23/2020 2:53:14 PM
Waymark Code: WM13142
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 0

Long Description:
Kelowna's First Brick School - what is still known as the Glenn Avenue School was built in 1910, three years before Kelowna's larger Central School was completed at the end of 1913. In later years, the two were followed by many more schools, many, if not most, also being built of brick.

With six classrooms housing all grades, the building initially housed all grades. With the opening of the new Central School in 1914, younger students were transferred there and this became Kelowna High School. In 1929 grades seven through nine went to the new Junior High School and, ten years later, grades ten through thirteen were also moved out, this time to the newly completed Kelowna Senior High. At that time, elementary grades were again moved to the building and it was again renamed as Glenn Avenue Elementary. In the 1980s this ceased to be used as a school and is today an outlet of the Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs as the Downtown Youth Centre.

Architectural features included a steeply pitched gable roof, tall brick chimneys, and vents in gables with keystones in their lintels. Not particularly beautiful in its execution, the rather pedestrian Jacobethan Revival building was referred to early on as "externally, an architectural monster". Another comment was "for sheer unattractiveness this new seat of learning would be hard to beat."

Following is text from the historical marker at the residence.
Old Glenn Avenue School
Constructed in 1910 by H. W. Raymer, this two-storey, six classroom building was Kelowna's first brick school. With the rapid growth in Kelowna, the public school built in 1904 (at 720 Lawrence Ave) became overcrowded. This new building immediately housed the high school class and any overflow from the elementary. Elizabeth McNaughton taught all subjects in the three year high school program.

The lower grades moved to Central School (1825 Richter St.) when that building opened in 1914, retaining the upper grades and becoming Kelowna High School. In 1925 the school had three academic teachers and one agriculture teacher. It continued to lose classes when the Junior & Senior High Schools were built. By 1939 it was used for elementary classes and eventually the name was changed to Glenn Avenue Elementary, thus preserving the name of Glenn Avenue (now Lawrence Avenue). In the 1980s it became home to the Downtown Youth Centre of the Kelowna and District Boys and Girls Club.

This substantial building represents a simplified version of the `Jacobethan Revival' style. The simplification indicates scarce financial resources for school construction. In 1914 the Fire Insurance Map shows to separate outhouses in the field behind the school. One for each sex.

This two-and-one-half storey [building] has features such as steeply pitched gable roof, tall brick chimneys and typical windows, which have double-hung, 12 pane wood sashes, and straight lintels and sills. The property has a large playground and the original six-classroom block can still be discerned.
Old Glenn Avenue School
The historic place is the two-storey red brick Old Glenn Avenue School (Glenn Avenue was the original name for Lawrence Avenue), built in an Edwardian institutional style in 1910 at 1633 Richter Street in Kelowna's North Central Neighbourhood.

This building has highly significant value in the community for being Kelowna's first brick school, for its architectural character, and for representing a progressive addition to a growing community during Kelowna's period of early development. Over the years it has accommodated all grades of the school system, and still continues with an important role for the youth of the community.

The rapid growth of Kelowna in the second half of the first decade of the twentieth century meant that the public school built in 1904 (now the Brigadier Angle Armoury at 720 Lawrence Avenue) quickly became overcrowded. This new two-storey, six-classroom building, constructed in 1910 by H.W. Raymer, was the first brick school in Kelowna. The City's single high school class (started in 1907), now with 21 pupils, moved into the building immediately, along with the overflow of the elementary classes. Elizabeth McNaughton, initially taught all subjects in the three-year high school program; she was aided by a second teacher in 1912.

The impressively substantial building represents a simplified version of the 'Jacobethan' Revival style (the name combines 'Jacobean' and 'Elizabethan' - both Tudor-era styles) that was seen in many schools across Canada, the main historical features being the steep gables and (sparse) crenellated parapets. The simplification of form would seem to indicate the scarce financial resources that have always plagued school construction. It is interesting to note that on the 1914 Fire Insurance Map two separate outhouse buildings, one for each sex, are shown in the field behind the school.

The design has not received universal applause for its appearance. A.R. Lord, school principal from 1910 to 1914, recalled it as 'externally, an architectural monstrosity,' and local historian Ursula Surtees commented that 'for sheer unattractiveness this new seat of learning would be hard to beat.'

The lower grades moved from here to Central School (1825 Richter Street) when that building opened in 1914. The Glenn Avenue School was left to the upper grades, becoming Kelowna High School. In 1925 the High School was staffed by three academic teachers and one agriculture teacher. It lost grades seven through nine in 1929, when the Junior High School was built (at the Kelowna Secondary School site, 575-599 Harvey Avenue). In 1939 the Senior High School was built as an addition to the Junior High School, and grades ten to thirteen shifted there.

From 1939 this building was used by elementary classes, and was called the Junior Elementary School. When other elementary schools were built, its name was changed to Glenn Avenue Elementary, thus preserves the name of Glenn Avenue, which until about 1960 was the name of that portion of Lawrence Avenue on which it fronts. A gymnasium was added in 1977. It ceased to be a public school in the following decade.

The building continues to have value to the community for serving youth. In the 1980s it became the Downtown Youth Centre of the Kelowna and District Boys and Girls Club, a use that continues to this day.

- Two-and-one-half-storey Edwardian institutional style ('Jacobethan Revival'), features of the style including the steep gables and the crenelations on portions of the parapet
- Steeply pitched gable roof
- Vents in gables, with keystones in their lintels
- Tall brick chimneys
- Original six-classroom block can still be discerned
- Entrances and large three-part windows have heavy lintels with pronounced keystones
- Typical windows, which have double-hung, 12-pane wood sash, and straight lintels and sills - Local red-brown brick and grey trim
- Large playground
- Well-maintained lawns, large shrubs, and newly planted trees
From the Kelowna Heritage Register
Photo goes Here
Old Glenn Avenue School - circa 1925
Photo goes Here
Old Glenn Avenue School - 2015
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

1633 Richter Street
Kelowna, BC
V1Y 9T7

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

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