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North Ward School - Bolivar, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 37° 36.958 W 093° 24.836
15S E 463469 N 4163287
Quick Description: Historic former school now museum in Bolivar, Missouri.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 3/29/2015 2:22:36 PM
Waymark Code: WMNKGP
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GT.US
Views: 0

Long Description:

Constructed in 1903, the North Ward School is located at 201 W. Locust Street in Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri. The stately two-story building has a symmetrical façade dominated by a central, four-story entrance tower flanked by slightly projecting classroom wings. The footprint of the building is T-shaped with a rear wing slightly narrower than the front block of the building. The foundation is rough cut ashlar block limestone. The roof is hipped and clad in asphalt shingle. The second story, round arched wood windows and some of the brick and limestone was salvaged from an earlier school building. Segmental arched windows were used on the first floor and are topped by decorative brick hoods. At the north end of the west elevation is a one-story addition, constructed in c. 1990. The addition is brick veneer with a low pitched gable roof. Though the addition is out of character with the architecture of the school, it is recessed from the façade and does not significantly impact the integrity of the property...

The North Ward School located at 201 W. Locust in Bolivar, Polk County, is locally significant ... in the area of Education. Constructed in 1903 from a design attributed to Henry H. Hohenschild, the building is the third school to be built on a lot donated by the Jamison Family in 1851 for the purposes of building a “seminary of learning.” From its construction in 1903 to c. 1953, the school housed elementary students living in the city’s north ward. The building also housed Bolivar’s central high school until a new building was constructed for that purpose in 1927. As the only first class high school in the county for many years, the school attracted students from beyond the borders of Bolivar. In addition to a traditional high school curriculum, the school offered a teacher training course and hosted county-wide teacher examinations. Students graduating from the high school and training course filled teaching positions in surrounding rural school districts, expanding the influence of the school on education across the county. The period of significance for the property is 1903 to 1953, the date of construction through the date that new elementary school construction effectively ended the use of the property as a public education facility."

-National Register Nomination

The school building sat idle for many years until the early 1980s was converted to the Polk County Museum. The building required extensive restoration during its conversion and is now in good condition.  The school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

201 W. Locust St.
Bolivar, Missouri

Web Site: [Web Link]

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