Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wade School



Wade School was built in 1929, named for Festus J. Wade, a prominent St. Louis banker. It was designed by famed architect Robert Milligan. In 1995, it was renamed the Meda P. Washington Education Center. It's on Vandeventer, in between Shaw and Kingshighway.

This building is in my neighborhood, and in an alternate universe—one in which it was still used as an elementary school, and in which every school in the district was a solid educational environment—it would be where my kids go to school. They could walk there in about ten minutes.


I'm not really complaining. The SLPS school that my daughter attends is only a five-minute drive from our house, and it's a great place.

But Meda P. Washington, nee Wade, does have a place in my heart. My grandma worked here as a school secretary decades ago. And I taught my wife to drive a stick shift in the parking lot.


It's a handsome building, part of St. Louis's rich heritage of educational architecture, yet also a reminder of the often sundered connection between our built environment and our lives in this city.

2 comments:

ge penny said...

I'm an older lady who Googled Festus J Wade School, and found your site. I moved away from Saint Louis in 1968 and again in 1986. Thank you for these images.

Alita said...

Thanks for taking time to post these photos and info about the school where I completed Grades 5-8 (1960-1964). At that time those of us who had been accepted into the St. Louis Public Schools' unique honors program (classified as "gifted" in K-8 and "Track IA" in 9-12) attended Wade and then Cleveland High. Though I left St. Louis after graduating as a National Merit Scholar in 1968, the education I received there continues to serve me well. It's heartbreaking to see how the public school system has declined in my hometown.