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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Franklin Elementary School wins a spot on national historic register

Dr. Brian Shute gives a walking tour of Franklin Elementary School, Friday, April 29, 2017. The school is closing at the end of the school year for extensive reconstruction and renovations. Dr. Shute, the school’s speech-language pathologist, has been giving tours to people, including former students, interested in the 107-year-old school’s colorful history. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Franklin Park Elementary School has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The nomination for the 1909 school at 2627 E. 17th Ave. passed through the Washington State Advisory Council for Historic Preservation in March, which placed it on the Washington Heritage Register.

The state panel forwarded the nomination to the National Park Service under the Interior Department for review and listing.

A letter from the state preservation office announcing the listing said that Franklin represents “a second phase of school construction in the city and was one of the structures built as part of a quarter-million dollar effort to modernize the school system just after the turn of the 20th Century.

Franklin is about to undergo a $26 million restoration and expansion project financed by voter-approved taxes.

A ground breaking ceremony was held at the school on Tuesday.

Franklin is the fifth Spokane public school to be listed on historic registers. The others are Lewis and Clark and Rogers high schools, and Hutton and Finch elementary schools. All five have been part of the program by Spokane Public Schools to enlarge and modernize while restoring historic features of the original schools.

Franklin is a three-story Classical Revival structure at 17th Avenue and Mount Vernon Street that was built with a combination of brick, stone, granite, terra cotta, wood and concrete.

Its features include a main entry portico and pediment with two fluted Tuscan columns and two square fluted pilasters against the facade.

The school name is shown from a terra cotta panel above the pediment.

In the new project, the 1953 addition on the west side of the school and portable classrooms to the north are going to be removed to make room for a 36,000-square-foot addition with classrooms, library, gymnasium and multipurpose space with stage and performance area.

Students will move to the old Jefferson Elementary School at Grand Boulevard and 37th Avenue during construction, which is set to run through the end of 2018.