English Avenue school

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A view of the English Tudor Revival detailing and crenelations in the collapsed roof area.

Built in 1910, the English Avenue Elementary school stands as one of the oldest Atlanta public school buildings extant and a reminder of the history of the surrounding area. The English Avenue neighborhood was purchased in 1891 by the son of former Atlanta mayor, John W. English. The neighborhood was designed to be a working class white neighborhood, with an African American neighborhood in Vine City bordering it to the South.

What is now known as the English Avenue school was built in 1910 to serve the White community of Western Heights (predecessor to English Avenue), and would continue to be an all-white school until 1950 when changing neighborhood demographics would persuade the City to change its designation to a Black school. Along with change in students, the school would then be renamed English Avenue Elementary school. The school would continue to operate until closing in 1995 in a predominantly African American neighborhood, passing on alumni such as Gladys Knight, Mable Thomas, and Herman Cain.

After its closing, the structure had sat unoccupied for over a decade, until the Greater Vine City Opportunities Program (GVCOP) under the leadership of State representative "Able" Mable Thomas, was able to purchase the building in 2010. Since that time, the organization has started a capital campaign to raise funds to renovate the structure into the English Avenue Campus and Global Community Center. As of winter 2015, GVCOP had raised over $2 million in grants and donations to save this historic structure.

In the past year, portions of the third floor have collapsed due to water intrusion. It is hoped that a redevelopment project can materialize soon in hopes of limiting further damage to the building.

Address: English Avenue Atlanta, GA  30314
Area of City: English Avenue, West of Downtown
Time: 1910
Architect/Designer: William A. Edwards and Frank C. Walter (Edwards & Walter)