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South Side High School 1923

By Randy Harter

Fort Wayne Reader


To ease pressure on the overcrowded Central High School, a tract of land on South Calhoun, just inside the city limits was chosen as the location for the city’s second high school. South Side is pictured here in 1923 from a southern vantage point looking north.

When the school opened in the previous fall of 1922, it was reputedly the largest one-story school in the United States, with its buildings covering three acres and having a capacity of 1,500 students. It also incorporated
the novel use of a series of ramps in the school instead of stairs. You’ll note that unlike today, the school here is only one story tall. It was in 1937 a second story was added fromt designs by local architect A. M. Strauss.

South Side enjoyed a number of additional expansions over the years with the capstone being the 1996 $39.5M schoolwide renovation that included the addition of a 50 meter by 25 yard wide swimming pool in the newly constructed Helen P. Brown Natatorium. Home of the “Archers”, the school has as alumni nationally renowned actress Shelley Long, soccer’s DaMarcus and Jamar Beasley, fashion designer Bill Blass and television personality Dr. Nancy Snyderman to name but a few.

Randy Harter is a Fort Wayne historian and author of two books on local history.

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©2018 Fort Wayne Reader. All rights Reserved.