Wakefield High School, Lafayette and Common Streets, circa 1907

  • Wakefield High School, Lafayette and Common Streets, circa 1907
  • "Wakefield dedicated its new high school 140 years ago, on the site of the former Parson Prentice House - the third parsonage in the First Parish - on October 10, 1872. The new school replaced the South Reading Academy, which was located on the site of the Lincoln School. The school was built just one year after the commodious Town Hall at the corner of Main and Water Streets (1871), and four years after the Town changed its name from South Reading to Wakefield (1868). A six-room addition was added in 1900, and the building remained in use as the high school until 1923 when a new school opened on Main Street. Renamed the Lafayette School, the building housed the Town's eighth grade until 1936. In 1937, the building was remodeled as part of a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, and its distinctive Italianate features were removed, with the wood replaced by brick. The Lafayette Building was used for municipal and veterans' purposes until a fire at the 1871 Town Hall in December 1950 rendered that building inhabitable [i.e.uninhabitable]. In April 1951, Town Meeting voted to move Town equipment and records to the Lafayette Building. In subsequent years, Town Meeting voters voted against repairing or restoring the vacant Main Street Town Hall, and voted to move all Town offices to Lafayette Street. The old Town Hall was razed in October 1958. The Lafayette Building, now the William J. Lee Memorial Town Hall, has undergone renovations since the 1950s, including a major accessibility renovation in 1998."
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2012
  • Photo courtesy of JC Marketing Associates
  • ca. 1907
  • Wakefield, Mass. : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Wakefield High School, Lafayette and Common Streets, circa 1907,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed October 17, 2019, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/wakefield/items/show/3251.


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