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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

George Washington Junior High School

 
 
George Washington Junior High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 1, 2010
1. George Washington Junior High School Marker
Inscription. The George Washington Junior High School was formerly located on this site. Along with the local Woodrow Wilson Junior High School, located in the Hyde Park neighborhood, the George Washington Junior High School was among the first junior high schools constructed in the state, and set precedent at the time for the organizational structure of schools throughout the United States. Erected in 1915, the George Washington Junior High School was also significant as an example of the Mediterranean Revival style adapted to academic architecture in Tampa

As early as 1903, Tampa began constructing brick schools that displayed a variety of regional architectural styles. By 1915, masonry construction replaced the mainstay of wood frame construction as witnessed in the nearly 300 area cigar factories. The George Washington Junior High School was designed by D.F. Hagy and Frank Iredell as a symmetrical, three-story, 41-room structure that exhibited an "E-shaped" plan consisting of a principal large central block with three lateral classroom wings. The traditional five-bay red brick building had a slightly projecting middle section featuring large brick piers at either end. Mediterranean Revival ornamentation evident in the George Washington Junior High School included Mission-style parapets adorned with "Star of David" medallions, arched windows with contrasting yellow brickwork, barrel tile-covered window hoods
Bus Shelter and George Washington Junior High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 1, 2010
2. Bus Shelter and George Washington Junior High School Marker
with brackets, heptagonal wood-frame cupolas with arched vents, and brickwork pendants.

The impetus for the construction of the George Washington Junior High School occurred when Tampa was transitioning from a rural agricultural community to a booming city with and industrial economy. Henry B. Plant and other prominent landowners established new business interests that were crucial to area development and resulted in an influx of workers and their families in Tampa. One industry was cigar manufacturing. This industry brought a rich cultural mix of people to Ybor City and West Tampa who held a deep understanding and value of public education, the foundation for cultivating a better way of life. The George Washington Junior High School primarily served the children west of the Hillsborough River whose families had settled into the nearby new suburban developments of Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights, now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The years spent at the school prepared students for their transition into the new Hillsborough County High School. The importance placed on education corresponded with a dramatic increase in the construction of quality schools.

Tampa Bay developed into a metropolitan commuter area that had to accommodate nearly 2.3 million citizens by the turn of the millennium. The Tampa Interstate Study project resulted in the expansion of Interstate 4 and Interstate 275, the principal transportation
Bus Shelter and George Washington Junior High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 1, 2010
3. Bus Shelter and George Washington Junior High School Marker
Viewed across East Columbus Drive.
arteries that service the Tampa Bay area. Unfortunately, the original locations of Interstate 4, completed in 1964, and Interstate 275, completed in 1968, precluded improvements to the roadway without impacting the school. Relocation and rehabilitation were considered but deemed unreasonable due to the unavailability of vacant property and prohibitive moving and rehabilitation costs. In 2001, the George Washington Junior High School was documented following the National Park Service's Historic American Building Survey standards as mitigation required by a Memorandum of Agreement signed between the Federal Highway Administration, Florida State Historic Preservation Officer, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. A major salvage effort was undertaken prior to demolition to recover any of the school's usable and distinctive architectural features. The school's historic pine floors were salvaged and used to replace floors at its sister school, Woodrow Wilson Junior High School. Additionally, salvaged bricks and a cupola were also removed and will be utilized in historic preservation projects in the Ybor City Historic District. The building was then demolished in 2004.

This marker commemorates the historic George Washington Junior High School, a representation of Tampa's earliest decades of growth and an exemplary educational building that exhibited the Mediterranean Revival architectural style, which stood at this site from 1915 to 2004.

January
The former site of George Washington Junior High image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 1, 2010
4. The former site of George Washington Junior High
Interstate 275 passes west of the bus shelter.
15, 1926 photograph by the Burgert Brothers, Tampa, Florida
August, 2001 photograph by Janus Research, Tampa, Florida

 
Location. 27° 58.005′ N, 82° 27.106′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is on East Columbus Drive west of North Nebraska Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is on the south side of East Columbus Drive, between Nebraska Avenue and the I-275 overpass. Marker is in this post office area: Tampa FL 33602, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Buffalo Soldiers in Tampa Heights (approx. 0.2 miles away); German-American Club (approx. mile away); El Centro Asturiano de Tampa (approx. 0.3 miles away); Cueto Boarding House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old People's Home (approx. 0.4 miles away); Greater New Salem Primitive Baptist Church (approx. half a mile away); El Circulo Cubano (approx. half a mile away); Attempt On The Life Of Jose Marti (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
 
More about this marker. The marker is mounted on the western face of a red brick bus stop shelter topped with a heptagonal cupola and featuring arched window openings and an arched doorway accented with yellow brick. The shelter is constructed in a style reminiscent of the George Washington Junior
The Old Hillsborough County High School Building image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, June 28, 2010
5. The Old Hillsborough County High School Building
George Washington Junior High School relocated to this building, 0.6 miles or 1 km away from the original site, during the late 60's; and it remained the school's home until it closed in 1979.
High building. A bench inside the shelter offers seating to those who await the #15 HART bus (Hillsborough Area Regional Transit).

At the time of the marker's entry into this database, it had been partially painted over by vandals.
 
Regarding George Washington Junior High School. The field to the south and west of the bus shelter is where the school once stood. The construction of I-275 in 1968 left the school building's location undesirable (the original ramp from I-4 to I-275 barely cleared the building). George Washington Junior High School was relocated to the nearby Old Hillsborough County High School building, which had just been vacated by Thomas Jefferson High School, and now has its own historic marker and a listing with the National Register of Historic Places. George Washington Junior High remained at that site until its closure in 1979.

George Washington Junior High School was home of the "Fighting Tigers".
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. George Washington Jr. High School. Website dedicated to preserving the history of Tampa's George Washington Jr. High School, with photos. (Submitted on July 4, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.) 

2. George Washington Junior High School Reunion. (Submitted on August 24, 2010, by Doris Rumore of Tampa, Florida.)
 
Additional keywords. Fighting Tigers, Malfunction Junction, HART, Bus Stop
 
Categories. 20th CenturyEducationNotable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 4, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 2,178 times since then and 78 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 4, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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