Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Cavert School--Nashville

 Nashville's Cavert Elementary School opened September 1928 for grades 1-9, to ease overcrowding in the public school system.  Named for Dr. A. J. Cavert, who was principal at a number of Nashville schools, it became a junior high in 1936 after the 1936 PWA-financed Eakin School next door was completed (Nashville Public Library, digital collections).

Its classical/neoclassical facade, designed by Tisdale and Pension, reflected the prevailing notion that this style represented knowledge.
The prominence of its entrance porch and the richness of its details transform the little red schoolhouse of popular myth into a Beaux-Arts monument to a classical education. (Kreyling, C., Paine, W. Warterfield, Jr., C. W., Wiltshire, S. F. 1996. Classical Nashville: Athens of the South. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press)
 Along with construction of the 1936 Eakin School, an addition was made to Cavert that year, and a gymnasium was added in 1964.  In 1965, it became the Special Education campus for Nashville school system.
 In 1998, the Board of Education approved $5 million to demolish Eakin and Cavert and rebuild.
 Renovations to Eakin were projected to cost $7 million.  The Eakin-Cavert Parent Teacher Organization reacted with political, economic, and social advocacy to save the two schools.
Forming a coalition of the PTO and interested residents of the Hillsboro-West End neighborhood, they worked to convince the city and the school board that the historic character of the Hillsboro-West End Historic District would be irreparably impacted by the demolition of the two buildings.  They also contributed to fund-raising efforts to support their advocacy for preservation and restoration, and in 2005, renovations began, and the two buildings were linked with a new wing to form one school.


Beth said...

Hooray for the PTO - I'm sure they did not have an easy task to save the little red schoolhouse in the Beaux Art style (hee hee LOL). Thank goodness they did so future generations will have this treasure!

Lana Pugh said...

Beautiful! So happy they saved it. Love those schools built in this style.