On Tuesday, May 5th, demolition began on the Washington School House located at the intersection of West Ridge Pike and Lewis Road. This project is being done in conjunction with the development of the Lewis Road extension and the development of a commercial project being developed by Signature Realty Advisors. Arcadia at Limerick Pointe is a neighbor to this property, and the community is taking steps to ensure that the schoolhouse’s memory lives on for years to come.
A Brief History
The Washington Schoolhouse was built in 1911 and taught countless local grade school students until its closing in 1950. Since then, the schoolhouse underwent renovations and served as a home to local businesses and even more recently as a church. Over the years, the interiors changed and though the building itself had fallen into disrepair, the structure and charm remained.
Preserving the Memory of the Schoolhouse
Noting the building’s meaning to many in the community who attended the school decades ago, Arcadia at Limerick Pointe, being developed on an adjacent parcel, has been able to source many architectural details from the building prior to its demolition. “We know there are many in the community who are sad to see the building go, and as neighbors of the parcel we want to do our part to honor the schoolhouse’s heritage and history.” We are proud to have had the opportunity to source materials and architectural details from the schoolhouse, so we can do our best to carry on the legacy of the building for years to come,” says Rita Stevens, Vice President of Operations at Vantage Point Retirement Living (developer and manager of Arcadia at Limerick Pointe).
Partnering with Local Organizations
In that same regard, Arcadia has also been in talks with the local historical society and is working to preserve elements of the building for their future use. “It’s been a pleasure getting to know the historical society over the last several months and being able to learn more about the rich history of the schoolhouse,” says Kate Sammler, Director of Marketing at Vantage Point Retirement Living. “I, myself, was able to sit and go through old photos and take a bit of a history lesson from Mr. Martin Witte (president of the Limerick Historical Society). We even walked the halls of the schoolhouse and filmed a video, which we’ll be able to look back on for years to come.”
One of the things that stands out most when learning about the building’s history is that members of the school’s graduating classes still host reunions periodically. The lifelong connections that the school has brought to so many are significant, and while the physical building may no longer be with us, its connections and memories will forever remain.