Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 1893 Industrial School for Girls and Elbridge Smith School

Dorchester Illustration of the Day no. 1893

On Tuesday the Boston Landmarks Commission will hear the petitions for two Dorchester properties for possible Landmark status: the Industrial School for Girls building at 232 Centre Street and the George Wright home at 24 Grampian Way.  The Commission will ask for comments from those who attend the hearing, so if you have an opinion about the status of either of these two properties, please go to Room 900, City Hall, at 6:05 pm for the George Wright home and 6:25 for the Industrial School for Girls.  You can make a comment in writing, but your communication must be signed.  A simple email will not do.  If you want to send an email, you must send a scanned copy of your signed comment to  Today we catch a glimpse of the Industrial School for Girls at the left edge of the illustration.

The board of trustees of the School, which had been founded in 1853 in a mansion in Winchester,  engaged architect George Snell to design a building specifically for the purpose of a residential school for young women who would need skills to make their way in life but whose families could not provide a good home life.  The School building on Centre Street was constructed in 1858 and is the only surviving building in the Commonwealth from the Industrial School philanthropic movement of the 19th century

The second high school, which is the main subject of today’s illustration,  was built at the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Centre Street next to the Industrial School for Girls sometime between 1874 and 1882. The building was used as the high school until the school population had grown so large that a larger building was required and was built at Codman Square in 1900. After that time the older building was used as a school for lower grades and named the Elbridge Smith School in memory of the third master of the high school who served 24 years. The building was replaced by the Patrick O’Hearn School in 1957, and the O’Hearn School building was renamed the William W. Henderson Inclusion Elementary School in 2009.


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