Cleveland High School

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4352 Louisiana Avenue
South St. Louis, MO
The Board of Education quickly dismissed Cleveland High, and the neighborhood surrounding it refuses to accept such cavalier declarations.

This issue is inspiring because it’s about so much more than preserving a worthy building; it’s about education, health, safety and preserving the fiber of a community. A neighborhood that knows its strengths has got in the face of an institution that shuns intuitive understanding for facts and figures. The Alliance understands their foe and counterattacks with calm and considered data, alternate plans and requests for proof of accurate accountability.

This issue does highlight the need for an all-encompassing understanding of STL city oversights, but I also see the first steps of a sound template for Smart Activism. The Alliance is working in an organized and media-savvy manner, and if this form of fight-back can be sustained, it will go much further toward preserving our buildings and communities than does resignation, incredulity or aldermanic recalls.

The titles of activities for the figures depicted in the tableau above, from left to right: Chemist, Glass Blower, Blacksmith, Stone Cutter, Carpenter, Churning, Brickmaker, Spinning & Printer.

The main entrance to the building is truly breathtaking, and perfectly maintained.

When you join the Alliance To Save Cleveland High, you get e-mail updates about what’s happening.

Good news from the most recent update:
“On Tuesday 6/13/06, the Board of Education of St. Louis Public School formally passed the resolution to support the community’s effort to save Cleveland High School. It directs and authorizes the Superintendent and the School District staff to work with the Alliance and the community to develop solutions that would save the building and return students back as soon as possible, among other positive measures.”

I can’t help but think about St. Aloysius when looking at Cleveland High. Much like the former church on The Hill, this complex of buildings shapes and defines an immediate neighborhood. In both cases, the building existed first, and the neighborhood was built around it. Erasing the buildings would alter the surroundings in a most unattractive and distracting manner.

But I feel better knowing the Alliance is on this, and hope that it becomes a model for how to conserve neighborhoods and their important institutions.

12 thoughts on “Cleveland High School

  1. I attended Cleveland High School from l961-65. It’s sad that it’s closed, and sadder still that it’s deteriorating. Couldn’t it be turned into apartments as so many abandoned schools have been?

  2. I attended Cleveland High School for one year. At the start of my sophomore year, mr family moved out to the county and I attended a brand new high school. I ended up making life-long friends at the new school, but also kept in close contact with life-long friends I had made that one year at CHS.

    The building was beautiful, but it was the spirit of the students, faculty and neighborhood that made it what it really was in all of our hearts.

    I was proud to be a Dutchman. Yes, a Dutchman. I guess Lions, Tigers and Bears were already taken when we chose a mascot, but in sincerity, it was the best mascot name ever. Unique, earned pride that everyone wore as a badge.

    I am sad that the school is just a memory, yet it will always be a strong memory and one that still shapes my personality and life.

    I am proud to say that at one time in my life, I was a mighty, mighty Dutchman!

  3. I went inside the school with my grandfarther and took a picture of the south Entrance by the Cafetira if u want to see the pic than find me on fb in the clevland high school group on Facebook

  4. We had a neighborhood watch group, acltualy a couple it just isn’t active anymore. I still have one of the signs. In the past the groups was very active and I even published a newsletter. The Name was STANDWATCH for the St. Anthony Neighborhood Watch . I did it for awhile and Vince Bower was involved then Mary Ann Condy tried to keep it going for a while and Clay Latimer, most recently was Corey (Tisdale -I am not sure of his last name). He started a yahoogroup that might still exist. I didn’t know about the meeting last night but would like to know more about what is happening. I am glad someone is taking up the cause again. By the way I still have a annual Night Out Against Crime Event and I have a neighborhood list of names and some emails and phone numbers.Jolie Bonck

  5. Hello I am from Saint Louis Mo and remember this high school. I want to encourage you to get your state officials involve to help keep Saint Louis Historical Beauty. The state officials may have funds for a issue like this one since it is a priceless landmark. Also hope to hear more updates on Wyman school and many other on there progress. Thank you for all you do keep moving forward.

  6. Okay I guess I’m behind. Why in the heck did Cleveland close again. A very good friend of mine and I went on a trip down memory lane yesterday. We went to our old family houses in the city, and then to Scruggs School and Cleveland.

    They both stand their like forgotten bricks. What in the hell is wrong with the Board of Education, who have always been dim in my opinion. Now they are closing beautiful schools in favor of what. And, why do they add on to these schools spending thousands only to close them a few years later. (i.e. Scruggs School) Who can I talk to, if only just to vent.

  7. I was a student at Cleveland during the late 70’s, and was my hopes that my children and grandchildren could also attend. I lived within a few blocks of the school, and would have liked to continue living there. The building is, to me, the most beautiful school in STL, and the thought that they would demolish , or even though about demolishing it, is apalling. So many of my friends parents and grandparents attended the school, and its a shame the neighborhood went down so bad. My brother and his wife lived there until last year, when the crime got to much for them. I remember sleeping with the front door wide open in the summer, no one bothered you. I don’t know if its just people in general, or if it was due to busing, or what, but I grieve for the Dutchtown neighborhood that was. Everyone watched out for one another. I have alot of great memories in that building, please keep at least that part of the neighborhood alive. Thanks to the Alliance and all who support them. I no longer live in STL, but if I had the choice, I would return to the neighborhood.

  8. So what happened? The school is now closed (we just went to see it last week, on a road trip from Canada)
    Daughter of a Graduate from Cleveland High

  9. Is there anyone out there who knows where I can get a 1959 high school yearbook? Believe it or not, but my mother paid for her yearbook, and because she was working when it was passed out, missed picking hers up. So I’m searching to see if I can purchase her one. Does any of you know how I can accomplish this?

  10. I know someone who taught there the past two years. It was horrible for her as a teacher. The students didn’t want to be in art class, didn’t listen, and didn’t know respect. Just like any other St. Louis City school as far as student disrespect and teachers being tormented, from what I gathered.

    The building is a beautiful one, though. Great pics.

    What we can do about the lack of respect and upping the discipline in the STL City schools I don’t know, but SOMETHING needs to happen and fast. The kids are nightmares on the city streets too. (And yes I do in fact live in the city and see it daily).

  11. The best thing about the Alliance is that it is being driven by actual neighbors of the school, which will go a long way toward cutting through St. Louis’ “neighborhood courtesy” system.

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