Thursday, March 30, 2006

Up in the mornin' and off to school...
...the teacher is teachin' the golden rule...(old Chuck Berry song)

Down under this post a little ways, there's a post which is titled "The Disappearing High School", in which was pictured the old Coeur d'Alene High School building in 1907. As I stated there, another CHS building was built in 1910; you can see its cornerstone at the southeast corner of 7th and Montana, in Phippeny park.

Well, guess what! I FOUND a picture of the "built in 1910" High School, and there are a whole lotta memories for a whole-lotsa folks, because this building housed students from 1910 until the late '70s or thereabouts. If only those walls could talk...but those walls are gone. The City of CDA allowed this building, along with the Junior High building, to fall into disrepair, and both were torn down in the late '80s. But here it is...Coeur d'Alene High School, at the corner of 7th and Montana Streets...


Coeur d'Alene High School circa 1920; later known as the "North" building when the Junior High School was built (known as the "South") building. I watched this building fall to the wrecking ball while driving cab in the late '80s.

The picture this color card was rendered from was probably taken in the late 1910's or early 1920's. (Because there is no building to the south of it...more on that in a minute) Evidently all the High School Students were in the building pictured here. It was an old beige brick building, and seeing this picture brings back lots of memories. When I went to classes in that building, there were windows on the North side of the building, instead of the blank walls you see at "picture left". Also, a gymnasium was added to the BACK of the building, further extending the building eastward. I'd never thot about it, but the gym was built AFTER this building was built, obviously. We're looking at the side of the building that faced 7th Street.

In the 1920's, a building of virtually equal size, but with a darker brick color, was built immediately to the south of this building ("picture right") and the two buildings were separated by a 10-or 15-foot walkway. That building housed the Junior High Students, and "Junior High School" was carved in stone on that building's front doorway. Evidently, as more students came to the area, that old nemesis, "overcrowding", made its presence known, so the building which is now Lakes Jr. High on 15th Street was built to alleviate the problem.

When I attended school at the buildings on 7th Street, 7th and 8th grades, plus high school freshmen (9th grade) were schooled in those old quarters. The Junior High School building was the "South" building and the building you see here was the "North" building; that's what everyone called them. 10th, 11th and 12th grades went to the "Lakes" building, which was then Coeur d'Alene High School. That was the way it was from "whenever" until the early '70's, anyway.

One of the things I remember most about this old "North" building, is that the gymnasium had an "upstairs track" with banked corners, and while you ran laps, you could watch people playing basketball below on the gym floor. I'm not sure how much later the gym was built than the rest of the building. So, the more I find out, the more I don't know. Ain't that the way it always is? That was the building where I came down with a sudden case of appendicitis (1968); I was sitting in Mr. Williams' first-period Earth Science class, and in 45 minutes, I went from being normal, to ultra-sick, and a couple of kids had to CARRY me to the principal's office. Agh!

Hopefully I'll find a picture of the "south" building someday. That building utilized the same color of brick that you can see on that little square building on 8th Street that the city stores equipment in. When I went to school there, that building was used for gymnastics and tumbling. And it wasn't pretty. Me trying to do a "cartwheel" was sorta like asking a Sumo wrestler to pirouette. CRASH!!! I was gonna wait and post this later (I've been up waaay too long) but I got so excited about finding this picture, I had to post it.
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Blogger's note: I went inside each of these buildings shortly before they were torn down. The city of CDA had turned off the heat, and the buildings fell into disrepair. The North building, the older building, was in awful shape by then (late 80's); its gymnasium floor was buckled under; the wood floor looked like "rolling waves" on the sea. Upstairs, the floorboards were so warped that you could see the main floor below! The South Building was in better shape; no floor warpage, and the linoleum still shone. Call me nuts, but it was my way of paying homage to my memories.

6 Comments:

Blogger jb3ll3 said...

It was in the gym of this building that I cast my first vote in a presidential election!

5:37 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Those of us who brought sack lunches would eat them up above, on the track, Jbelle. It's a shame those old bldgs. were allowed to rot; those gyms provided facilities for a lot of church baskeball teams and other weekend athletes.

11:24 PM  
Blogger jb3ll3 said...

They were gorgeous buildings. The track was awesome; remember the noon dances?

12:01 AM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

jbelle, I grew to really love those old buildings. I saw a couple of noon dances, but mostly, I'd eat my sack lunch, eat it on the track, and then walk around the building all during noon hour.

12:38 AM  
Blogger jb3ll3 said...

Me, too; I LOVEd those buildings. I was stunned when they were torn down; everyone in my family said aw, it's for the best. grrrr.

11:04 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Jbelle, it's easy to tell where I was when...I finished 1st grade in 1961, 2nd grade in 1962 and so forth...so I was at the buildings on 7th Street in '67, '68 and '69.

Those old buildings had fallen apart due to being left UNHEATED by the City of CDA, which LET those buildings DIE. They were in such bad condition, there was nothing left to do but tear 'em down. Loss of history due to neglect. Way to go, CDA!

2:17 AM  

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