Fourth Ward School
This large red building is the historic former Fourth Ward School. It was built in 1869 and is an excellent example of a mid-19th-century schoolhouse. Designed in the Italianate architectural style, it represents the transition from one-room schoolhouses to multi-room school buildings. It is also significant in that it was among the first schools in New York to be built after the state legislature, in 1867, passed legislation that consolidated school districts into larger ones. This gave local communities greater control over raising taxes for schools (some state money helped fund schools as well). Public education became "free" as a result of these changes. Finally, Fourth Ward School is also important because its size illustrates the growth of Seneca Falls during the mid-to-late 19th century as a result of the economic benefits generated by the Erie Canal. Today, the old school, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is an apartment building.
Backstory and Context
Todd, Nancy. "Fourth Ward School." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. March 19, 1986.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons