Old Main School FairbanksPeriod postcard Source: (http://www.ebay.com/itm/c1940-Fairbanks-Public-School-Alaska-Real-Photo-Postcard-RPPC-/371913233291).
The addition to the Main School was built with the help of the Public Works Administration. The main structure was built in 1934, and it replaced a wooden structure that had previously served as the city’s only school. “By the late 1930s additional space was needed to accommodate a growing school population. In1939, an addition of 12,350 square feet was constructed as a Public Works Administration project with the design purportedly prepared by Alaska Architectural Company. The addition was added to the south side of the building. It more than doubled the south facade and wrapped around the auditorium to form a new west elevation. Classrooms and a cafeteria were included. The former exterior wall was replaced by a full-height partition. When this partition was removed, the new cafeteria opened onto the multi-purpose area.”
The main structure was an important landmark in the city’s plans for the reconstruction of its waterfront: “An integral part of the community’s history, Main School was the only school building in Fairbanks for seventeen years. At the time of its construction in 1934, the three-story reinforced concrete building was the most modern school facility in the Territory of Alaska. The building represents the conscious effort on the part of Fairbanks citizens to change the temporary, waterfront town character of the community to that of a more progressive, permanent city landscape. An Art Deco style public building, Main School is also of architectural significance in Fairbanks. It was modeled after another Art Deco reinforced concrete building, the Federal Building (listed in the National Register of Historic Places on August 2, 1978) constructed in 1933-1934.“
National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for Old Main School, Fairbanks Alaska, accessed on June 14, 2017. Wikipedia Page for City Hall, Fairbanks Alaska, accessed on June 14, 2017.
Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on June 14, 2017.
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