Monday, February 05, 2007

Is anyone writing a history of Franklin School on Lakeside Street?

It's been almost a year since I took these photos of the Franklin School building, but I haven't been able to locate very much information about the school and its history. According to a brief history of school buildings in Madison that I discovered at the Madison Public Library, Franklin opened in 1923 at 305 West Lakeside Street. There have been at least two additions to the original building: one in 1930 and one in 1956.

In 1984, Franklin was paired with Randall School on Regent Street as a result of the Madison school district's efforts to desegregate several schools. The combined paired schools are now collectively referred to as Franklin-Randall Elementary.

Last year, the Randall School building celebrated its 100th anniversary and received a lot of media coverage. Will anyone make a fuss about Franklin when its 100th anniversary arrives -- even though it's located on Madison's South Side, rather than the West Side? There was a pronounced difference between the two neighborhoods in 1923. The Franklin building certainly isn't an "elegant prairie-style school" and it probably wasn't designed by a prominent local architectural firm.

Is anyone writing a history of Franklin. Does anyone care about its legacy?

More than a few Madison Central High School alumni attended Franklin School. Perhaps they'll leave some comments.

Photos of Franklin School taken on February 8, 2006

1 comment:

Sara said...

When I used to run over in that neighborhood, I often wondered what the name of that school was. It's not marked at all. Your picture of the "Lakeside" sign was the first indication that I've had in some time that it actually has a name. Interesting how these things are just forgotten, isn't it?

You might want to stop by the Park Street Shoe Repair place where the old fogies gather to reminence about the old Greenbush. They might have some stories.