Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Franklin School

The original Franklin School, sometimes locally called the Christian Shore School, is located on the south side of Maplewood Avenue, between Prospect and Dennett Streets.

Portsmouth built the Franklin School in 1847. The original design was quite simple, basically a two-story, double one-room schoolhouse; that is, the facility had only two commodious rooms, one on each floor. This grammar school, which served Portsmouth from 1847-1919, accommodated up to a maximum of approximately ninety students per year. 

As the school approached the end of its useful life, in 1917, the city's Superintendent of Schools wrote in Portsmouth's Annual Report, “The Franklin School is poorly arranged, very poorly lighted, and unreasonably crowded but in about as good condition as its construction permits.”

It was replaced by the New Franklin School on Dennett Street in 1920. Afterwards, the old building served as a carpenter's mill from 1921-1923 and a furniture warehouse from 1923-1943. Later, the building was converted into apartments and became condominiums in the mid-1980s.

The vintage photograph below comes from C. S. Gurney's 1902 book, Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. Mine was taken 111 years later, on a hot June afternoon in 2013.

I wish all the historic buildings in Portsmouth displayed their name and the date of their construction. It would make researching them a lot easier! 

1 comment:

  1. I can remember the Franklin School having apartments in the late 1970's... I didn't live there, but knew someone who did.