Bruce School fire

bruceprincipalThe library has a CD-ROM that contains digital images of the Bruce School fire.

In the year 1900 there was a clear need for a new school in Ward 5.  Land was purchased on Ames Street between Olive and Byron Avenue.  The structure was built of face brick in red mortar. It was trimmed in granite, molded brick and ornamental terra cotta.  The roof was covered with black slate.  Lighting was provided on the most up-to-date scientific principles.  Chandeliers were hung from the hall ceiling pedants.  The tower measured 127 feet and included a bell weighing 4500 pounds and an illuminated clock with a nine-foot dial.  It was called the Bruce School named after Alexander Bruce, Lawrence mayor from 1886-87.  This magnificent building was lost to a fire on March 30, 1951.  In the afternoon, fire was discovered in the fan-room of the basement.  The fire spread quickly, and the entire structure was a total loss.   Due to a well-executed fire drill, all the pupils exited safely.   The new Bruce School opened in September 1954 facing Butler Street between Milton and Ames Streets.  The new building had twenty-four classrooms, a kindergarten, a home making room, a shop, a library, and a gymnasium.

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