Monday, December 31, 2007

The Queen’s Crown Jewels

Oyler School

I wanted to highlight a Cincinnati Public School for the next installment of the Queen's Crown Jewels. There are so many to consider, it was tough to pick one. I decided choose one maybe a little less known and one that is not currently on the National Register of Historic Places. That rules out the schools including but not limited to the former Cummins School (1872), Mt. Adams Public (1895), and Rothenberg Elementary (1914). It also eliminated (at least for now) the real the jewels of the school district itself - Hughes (1908), Withrow (1919), and Walnut Hills (1931) of which Withrow and Hughes are currently listed on the National Register. So my choice is the unique Oyler School in Lower Price Hill.



Oyler School is located at 2121 Hatmaker Street. It was completed in 1931 and was designed by the firm Samuel Hannaford and Sons. It is a wonderfully eclectic design, combining elements of Italian and Spanish Revival, English Tudor Revival, and Venetian Byzantine Gothic Revival in a near Art Deco aesthetic. Glazed terra cotta details accentuate the stone and brick facades including lintels, friezes, balconies, and figures, including a boy and girl flaking the front doors. It is wonderfully decorative for the period and really incorporates an Art Deco style. But still all mixed with historical precedents.

Samuel Hannaford's sons Charles and Harvey completed a number of schools for CPS including Winton Place Academy (1910), Carson (1916), Condon (1922), and Hoffman (1925) which is also on the National Register and has a fantastic setting on Darrell Ave in Evanston/Walnut Hills. (I leave the right to select it for an upcoming post.)

The building is very large at over 100,000 square foot. When built it had ". . . a modern Kindergarten, 46 classrooms, a Metal Shop, an Electric Shop, a Print Shop, a Woodworking Shop, a Mechanical Drawing Room, 2 Cooking Rooms, 2 Sewing Rooms, a Library, 2 Gymnasiums, an auditorium seating 550, and a Lunch Room." It and the playgrounds and a swimming pool occupy a city block in Lower Price Hill which unfortunatly is set on a tight site in a sea of asphalt paving. The building is still occupied and is slated for renovation in an upcoming CPS Master Plan segment.

References:
Flischel, Robert. An Expression of the Community. Cincinnati: The Art League Press, 2001.
Olyer School History from their website.

Historic photos from Library's Cincinnati Memory Project.

5 comments:

Veggie Option said...

Thanks for another informative post. This looks like a wonderful building, and I'm eager to see it in person.

(I LOVE Hannaford designed buildings. Why hasn't anyone written a book on Samuel and his sons?)

UncleRando said...

I love, love, love this building. It is one of the best buildings in LPH which boasts a bunch of goodies. It has a nice urban playground to go with it...a nice neighborhood touch.

Kevin LeMaster said...

I love that building too and I hope that CPS doesn't skimp on renovating it into a true community learning center (like they promised during the bond levy).

Sharon said...

Imagine my shock when driving through Price Hill and finding out they tore down old Carson elementary. I live in Florence Ky and didn't realize it was scheduled for demolition. I attended there in the sixties. I hope someone saved the Rookwood fountain in the hallway across from the principals office next to the auditorium. I would have thought that pieces of the school - like the clock faces from the tower would have been auctioned off to the public. Maybe they were. I would have loved to have had a piece of the building. But I never heard about this and we have the news on all the time.

Sharon said...

magine my shock when driving through Price Hill and finding out they tore down old Carson elementary. I live in Florence Ky and didn't realize it was scheduled for demolition. I attended there in the sixties. I hope someone saved the Rookwood fountain in the hallway across from the principals office next to the auditorium. I would have thought that pieces of the school - like the clock faces from the tower would have been auctioned off to the public. Maybe they were. I would have loved to have had a piece of the building. But I never heard about this and we have the news on all the time.