Wakefield High School, Main Street, circa 1923

  • Wakefield High School, Main Street, circa 1923
  • "Wakefield High School's Main Street facility was dedicated on Sunday, June 3, 1923 with an 'informal' ceremony at 2 p.m. and an open house and tour of the building from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Nearly 500 people were in attendance. Dr. Payson Smith, the State Commissioner of Education, the principle speaker, was joined on the 'broad stage' of the auditorium by Chairman of the Building Committee John J. Round, Superintendent of Schools Willard B. Atwell, Principal Charles J. Peterson, School Committee Chairman J. Lowe McMahon, building architect Frank I. Cooper, C.H. Cunningham (head of the construction company which built the school building), and two former teachers, Melvin Hill and Mary E. Wentworth. The two teachers were present at the previous high school dedication (the Lafayette Building - now the Town Hall) in 1872. To build the new high school, the Town of Wakefield voted to buy the Cyrus Wakefield estate on Main Street (built in 1851) in 1913. Plans were drawn up in 1916 and in 1919, the Town voted a bond issue of $450,000. The Building Committee began their work in 1921, and after 81 meetings, their work was complete. The architect noted at the dedication that the school exceeded the standards set by the National Education Association which required 50% of the floor area of the school to be devoted to the purposes of education. The dedication of the new high school occurred just a few weeks after the dedication of the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library. The school was officially opened the next day, June 4th. The day started with students and teachers parading down Main Street from the Lafayette Building to the new school. Grammar school students (with the exception of Montrose and Greenwood) were dismissed for the occasion and lined the east side of Main Street, from the Rockery to the school. Later referred to as the Atwell Building of Wakefield Memorial High School, the building remained in use until it was destroyed by fire on December 12, 1971. The high school was built on what is now the parking lot for th
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 1997
  • Photo courtesy of Bourdon Studios.
  • ca. 1923
  • [Wakefield, Mass.] : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Wakefield High School, Main Street, circa 1923,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed June 24, 2021, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/noble/items/show/7139.


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