January 27, 2011 in Washington Voices

Rogers High School makes National Register of Historic Places

Spokane Public Schools plans to honor listing
By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Old Rogers High School is one of few art deco schools in the U.S.
(Full-size photo)

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John R. Rogers High School has won a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 1932 art deco building achieved national register status recently after the Spokane City-County Landmarks Commission approved a nomination last September.

Rogers is one of a handful of high schools in the nation built in the art deco architectural style, officials said.

The original high school building was restored in a voter-approved project that was completed in 2009. The restoration was accompanied by an expanded facility in an addition that is distinct from the original three-story structure.

Spokane Public Schools is going to provide Rogers with a plaque designating the listing. A presentation ceremony is planned for March, but the exact date had not been confirmed.

Rogers’ listing follows Lewis and Clark High School, which won a spot on the national register in 2001 following renovation of that facility.

Stephen Emerson, a historic consultant who wrote the Rogers nomination, said that the architecture at Rogers is consistent with art deco style in boasting “zigzags, chevrons, circles, parallel and stepped-back lines and stylized vegetation” on the exterior.

The high school was named after Washington’s populist Democratic governor, John R. Rogers, who was first elected in 1896 as a champion of the downtrodden and an advocate for reform, Emerson said.

The building was designed in a one-time collaboration by well-established and respected architects John K. Dow and William A. Wells, officials said.

Wells was known for school projects while Dow had done work on a number of large new buildings following Spokane’s 1889 fire, Emerson said.

The recommendation for listing also went to the the Governor’s Advisory Council before being forwarded to the National Park Service for the national listing.

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