OLDEST - Brick School in the BC Interior
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 50° 15.640 W 119° 16.230
11U E 338169 N 5570079
Quick Description: When built in 1893 this school cost the city of Vernon the exorbitant amount of $5,000.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 1/7/2015 1:52:13 PM
Waymark Code: WMN6YZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 3

Long Description:
The first substantial school in the village, this was actually Vernon's third elementary school, the first brick school in Vernon and is the oldest surviving brick school in the B.C. Interior and possibly in the Province. Late-Victorian in style, the tall brick and stone building was in use as a school for over a century. It, along with the Vernon Heritage Hall (c. 1930) to the north, has been designated a municipal heritage site by the city.

Designed by architect A. M. Muir and constructed by contractor T. E. Crowell, the building now hosts a science centre and arts centre while the grounds have become a demonstration garden, demonstrating natural and organic methods of lawn care, gardening and pest control.

See more, from the Vernon Heritage Register, below.


Park School

Description of Historic Place
Park School, a two-storey Late-Victorian brick school constructed at the northeast corner of Polson Park in Vernon British Columbia in 1893, is a designated municipal heritage site. The site comprises the original portion of the school and Vernon Heritage Hall (c. 1930), a small brick home economics building to the north of the school.

Heritage Value
Built in 1893 as Vernon’s third Elementary School, Park School is valued as a landmark building located prominently at the eastern entrance to the City, in the northeast corner of Polson Park. Built at a cost of over $5000, the school is a reflection of the rapid growth of Vernon in its early civic stage. The building was designed to reflect the pre-eminent position of education in civil society. Its scale and symmetrical classical architectural features emphasize this. The survival of the building, its restoration and adaption as a science centre and arts centre (back addition), and its designation as a municipal heritage site are further testaments to its enduring value to the community.

The school is notable for its association with education in Vernon for over a century. Originally a four room school with boys and girls activity rooms in the basement, it was added to several times, and a new school (Vernon High School, renamed Clarence Fulton in 1964), now demolished, was built to the west. As Vernon’s first brick school, the building is a symbol of the City’s growth and the enduring importance of education to the community. Notable educators associated with the school included Clarence Fulton, who was appointed Principal in 1918 and remained with the Vernon school system for 35 years. Clarence Fulton Secondary School, which was built behind Park School, was named after him.

Park School is also valued as a superb architectural icon from the nineteenth century. The oldest surviving brick school in the B.C. Interior and possibly in the Province, it is a masterful example of late Victorian Italianate design. It is a two-storey structure placed on a raised basement. The front façade is symmetrical with a hipped roof surmounted by a decorative cupola. The front façade is divided into three parts divided by brick pilasters. The wide roof overhang is clad with boards and decorated with a frieze of prominent wooden brackets. The lower story features a central porch with pedimented roof and a pair of magnificent Queen Anne windows. The school is constructed of Vernon brick laid in stretcher bond. The architect was A. M. Muir, a Scottish immigrant to Victoria who designed the first Court Houses in Nelson and Vernon. The contractor was T. E. Crowell, one of Vernon’s earliest and most prolific builders.

Character-Defining Elements
• the prominent location at the northeast corner of Highway 6 and
   Polson Park, fronting Highway 6 and 25th Avenue
• the symmetrical rectangular form of the building with its window    arrangement, hipped roof, central portico, and cupola
• sympathetic south addition with matching brick facing and portico
• fine Queen Anne windows in the main story façade and groups of
   double hung 4/2 light windows above
• brick building to the north (Vernon Heritage Hall leased by the
   Vernon Heritage Society from the City of Vernon) built
   as a home economic building and featuring an excellent
   Flemish bond brick pattern on its exterior walls
From the Vernon Heritage Register, Page 65

Type of documentation of superlative status: Vernon Heritage Register

Location of coordinates: At the school

Web Site: [Web Link]

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