Map showing the locations of fifty one high schools in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
WOODWARD HIGH SCHOOL
It is only appropriate that the first
school shown on this section be Woodward High School. Located on the block at
Thirteenth, Woodward, Sycamore, and Broadway it was the first public school west
of the Alleghenies. From 1973 to 2010 it housed the School for the
Creative and Performing Arts, but they have since moved to newer facilities. The
building has recently gone on the auction block and sold and will probably
be converted to some type of housing.
In 1827, William Woodward (1768-1833), a successful farmer and tanner and his wife, Abigail Cutter donated the land and a trust to pay for a free grammar school and to pay for the education of poor boys. When Cincinnati in 1829 established the public school system which filled the areas need for elementary education, Woodward used these 7 acres plus an additional 1 acre for the building of a secondary school.
The first Woodward Grammar School opened in 1831, it was a two story structure and was the first free public school in the city.
In 1836 a College department was formed and the name was changed to the Woodward College of Cincinnati. From 1843 to 1845 William Holmes McGuffey taught languages here. He is famous for compiling the Eclectic Reader series of books. (also known as the McGuffey Reader). His brother taught here for thirty years. The original two-story building was replaced in 1855. By that time Woodward's endowment had become insufficient and the high school and college were discontinued. Woodward High School then became part of the public school system. A larger facility was needed so a new 3 story structure was constructed in 1854-1855. This is the building you see below. Additions were made in 1867 and 1880. In 1860 responding to a petition from the students, the bodies of Woodward and his wife were moved from Washington Park and re-interred under the sidewalk on Broadway. A bronze statue of Woodward was unveiled next to them in 1878.
The famous abolitionists Levi and Catherine Coffin lived on this property from 1856 to 1863. Levi is known as the "President of the Underground Railroad" and is is said there are still remnants of the railroad's secret tunnels that led slaves to freedom under the present building.
North East front North West front Gymnasium
Auditorium Statue Stair way First floor hall
West hall, second floor Memorial window East hall, second floor
Ruins of Old Woodward Committee of teachers and principles looking for lost corner stone
building was razed (as you can see in the card above) and the construction of a new five story
building was begun in 1907. The most famous alumni of the school laid the
cornerstone for this building one day after he had been elected president in
1908, William Howard Taft. Taft graduated from here in
1874 is the only man ever to be both President of the United States and Chief
Justice of the Supreme Court. Among the other minor positions he
held were 1887-member of Ohio Superior Court, 1890-United States Solicitor
General, Governor of the Philippines during Theodore Roosevelt's administration,
in 1904 he became the Secretary of War.
This new structure included the most modern facilities of the time, including indoor flush toilets, central heating, a 1,100 seat auditorium, two swimming pools, and two gymnasiums. It is also notable for the many Rookwood Pottery drinking fountains and tile fixtures. The main entryway has a large stained glass window titled "The Landing of William Woodward at Cincinnati in Fall of 1791", which was saved from the original 1855 building. In 1928 it became both a junior and senior high school. This school is seen in the cards below.
The shift in populations from the basin to the suburbs called for a new high school to be built in the northern section of the city. So in 1953 a new school was opened on Reading Road in Bond Hill. The Woodward name and statue were transferred there, and no, the bodies were not moved. The remains were relocated to the south side of the school which was renamed the Abigail Cutter Junior High School. The stained glass window also remained behind. The School for the Creative and Performing Arts moved there in 1977. Some of the more notable people who have attended SCPA are Carmen Electra, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nick Lachey. Pop star/producer Lachey produced a reality show (2008-09) at the school for MTV.
SCPA has now (2010) moved into a new school encompassing a whole block bordered by Race, Elm, (renamed Erich Kunzel Way at that spot), 12th Street and Central Parkway. It will contain three theaters. At this time there are 1,000 students, grades 4-12, attending SCPA. Applications have skyrocketed as the 2nd season of the MTV show "Taking the Stage" has just been completed.
Woodward as SCPA
The old Woodward building above has now been auctioned off to a
developer who is planning to convert the building into a boutique hotel with 140
rooms. (as of 6-26-13).
Woodward is now located at at the corner of Reading Road and Seymour Ave. the name has changed to Woodward Career Technical High School (2006). It now teaches a mixture of college-preparatory and vocational courses. The first row below of photographs shows part of the old Woodward at this location, the next image shows the demolition of these buildings to make room for the new football field for the new Woodward that was already constructed next door, seen in the bottom row of images.
Old School 2011 Demolition
New Woodward Career Technical High School
Hughes High School is the second oldest high school in the Cincinnati public school system. Established with a bequest from cobbler Thomas Hughes whose shop, believe it or not, was next door to William Woodward's tanning store on Liberty Street between Main and Sycamore. The trusties of the Hughes bequest allowed the estate to accumulate for 27 years until 1851 when the Woodward and Hughes funds were combined. Those children who lived east of Race St. attended classes at Woodward. Those who lived west of Race went to Central High until Hughes High School was completed in 1853 at the corner of Fifth and Mound Streets. That is the school you see in the first five cards.
Hughes in 1855
Looking Southwest Rear view & gymnasium Looking Southeast Biology Lab
This structure was completed in 1910 in Clifton at the northwest corner of Clifton Ave. and West McMillan St. Once again population shifts caused this school to be shifted to the suburbs. The old Hughes was renamed Jackson Elementary School. (a black only school).
Not a postcard
Although the University of Cincinnati is across the street from Hughes High School, this double card view is not possible. The photographers pulled a little trickery to get this view. That is the Deaconess Hospital in the center. In reality U.C. is located where the camera is.
In 1911 Hughes High School was 50 years old. In celebration of that event a 154 page book was produced and the following images are from that book.
Laying The Cornerstone Auditorium
Main Entrance 1911 Baseball Team Boy's Gymnasium Girl's Gymnasium
Botany Laboratory Chemistry Laboratory Pattern Making Room Domestic Science Kitchen
Domestic Science Gargoyles Seen On Building
Today there are 5 college prep schools using the Hughes building. The Paideia High School, the High School for Communications Professions, High School for Teaching and Technology, and the Cincinnati Academy of Mathematics and Science (CAMAS), the Zoo Academy is a part of CAMAS but is on the grounds of the Cincinnati Zoo. Hughes is a "school of choice" and an exclusionary practice school with approximately 300 students with special needs.
FOR MORE SCHOOLS