Central High School
The first Central High School opened in a stone building three blocks to the west. The state legislature instituted high school grading in 1859, and the first Central High School graduation was held in 1862. Two successively larger buildings housed the school during the next fifty years. When dedicated in 1911, this Collegiate Gothic building was a model of modern school architecture. The local firm of Robinson and Campau designed the school in consolidation with architects from Detroit and St. Louis. The exterior is red paving brick with gray terra cotta and cut stone trim. Additions were built in 1927, 1930, and 1983. The original multi-paned windows have been replaced.
Dr. Jesse B. Davis, principal of Central High School from 1907 to 1920, was responsible for much of the school's interior design. In 1914, under Dr. Davis's leadership, the board of education organized the first two-year college in Michigan, the present-day Grand Rapids Community College. Dr. Davis served as the college's first president, and classes met on the third floor of the high school. Prominent graduates of Central High School include: First Lady Betty (Bloomer) Ford; Astronaut Roger B. Chaffee, who died in the Apollo I fire; Floyd Skinner, five-term president of the NAACP; and United States Senator Arthur Vandenberg,
Erected 1999 by Michigan Historical Center, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L2031.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 42° 57.925′ N, 85° 39.493′ W. Marker is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in Kent County. Marker is on Fountain Street NE. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 421 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Central Reformed Church (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); McCabe-Marlowe House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Voigt House (approx. 0.4 miles away); First (Park) Congregational Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Castle (approx. 0.4 miles away); Grand Rapids Veterans Memorial and Honor Roll (approx. 0.4 miles away); Kent County Civil War Monument & Fountain (approx. half a mile away); Ladies Literary Club (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grand Rapids.
Categories. • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 27, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 26, 2016, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 121 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 26, 2016, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.