Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Education and Opportunity

Thomas Durham Elementary School

A black and white photograph of the Thomas Durham Elementary School under construction. The image shows what will be the front and left side of the building. The concrete and stone walls are semi-complete, but there are still metal bars and supports showing. Some wooden supports are along the outside of the building.

PhillyHistory.org

More than forty elementary and secondary schools were built during the tenure of Philadelphia school system Superintendent Martin G. Brumbaugh from 1906-1915. The Thomas Durham Elementary School, located at Sixteenth and Lombard streets, was part of Brumbaugh’s push to create more institutions for the children of Philadelphia. The school was named after Thomas Durham, who was president and director of the seventh section (bordered by South, Spruce, Seventh, and Twenty-Second streets) of the Philadelphia School District throughout the 1880s and 1890s. Construction began in the fall of 1909 and the school opened to students in November 1910. This image of the building during construction is from May 1910. The school became part of the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, but closed as a public school in the 1990s. The school became the Independence Charter School in 2001.

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  1. […] The school was built on the edge of a black neighborhood in South Philly in the early 1900s, and its design earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places when I was in the third grade. I nudged my friend to take a quick detour with […]

  2. […] The school was built on the edge of a black neighborhood in South Philly in the early 1900s, and its design earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places when I was in the third grade. I nudged my friend to take a quick detour with […]

  3. […] The school was built on the edge of a black neighborhood in South Philly in the early 1900s, and its design earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places when I was in the third grade. I nudged my friend to take a quick detour with […]

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