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Blewett High School
5400 Enright Avenue
Architect: Mauran, Russell & Garden
Built: 1905

These two buildings, more recently conjoined as one, housed a succession of schools under a variety of names. The one I'm using for them is simply the one on the ancient, rusted sign, but they were originally built in 1905 as the Smith Academy and the Manual Training School, a private school for boys sponsored by Washington University. Though similar in form to some of the city's handsome public schools, they lack the festive lightness which marks those buildings. The pair are instead a heavy and solomn presence, lurking behind a row of mature trees, barely glimpsed as one passes by on nearby Union Boulevard.

The Academy closed in 1917; since then the buildings have variously been known as:
- Ben Blewett Junior High School, 1918, a public school.
- Blewett High School, 1931.
- Harris Teachers College, 1949, which moved there from its previous home in the Theresa School.
- Enright Middle School, 1963
- Enright 9th Grade Center, 1975, an adjunct to Soldan High School nearby.
- Enright Classical Junior Academy, 1992.

The final occupant finally closed down in 1994, and the buildings stood vacant for over a decade.

In 2004, the property was purchased for redevelopment by the Roberts Brothers. Plans include 55 loft apartments in the school buildings, 20 new homes (and a new street) on the current playing field, and renovation of the nearby Blossom House, an older home last used as a youth development center.

The proposed site plan may be seen here. Construction at last report was underway, with occupancy expected in spring of 2007 in what appears to be an excellent urban infill project.


Additional information and interior photos at Ecology of Absence.

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Gallery: December 23, 2005