- Lava Springs, ID
- Site Type:
- Gymnasiums, Education and Health
- New Deal Agencies:
- Public Works Administration (PWA), Public Works Funding
- Miles E. Miller
- Byrd Findlayson
- Quality of Information:
- Site Survival:
Construction on this Public Works Administration (PWA) funded building took place in 1934 as an addition to the town’s high school (built in 1911). While retaining the New Deal era gymnasium, the current Lava Elementary School structure replaced the high school in 1979.
The Lava School Gymnasium received National Register status in 1997 based on its significance to both local history and architecture. In the application’s statement of significance, it was argued that the gymnasium is associated with “the continued development of this small southeastern Idaho town during the Great Depression” and its ability to demonstrate several primary contributions of the PWA, including: “to create jobs, generate local economic activity and to improve educational facilities nationwide.” A former Lava Springs student recalled, “It was quite a thing to have the gym; in its day it was one of the finest gyms in the state of Idaho.”
Architect Miles E. Miller of Salt Lake City designed the Lava School Gymnasium in a simplified Classical Revival style. Reflecting a more spartan and functional approach that was common in PWA projects, Miller’s design has been described as “stripped” or “starved” classical since it retained Classical decorative motifs combined with modern influences. Contractor Byrd Findlayson completed the $42,000 project in 1934.
"Lava High School Gymnasium," National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. May 26, 1997. Idaho State Historic Preservation Office website: https://history.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Lava_High_School_Gymnasium_97000764.pdf
"Lava High School Gymnasium," Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lava_High_School_Gymnasium
Site originally submitted by Judith T Kenny on March 22, 2023.
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