Kaitlin from Preservation in Pink posted this beautiful photo on her historic preservation blog a couple of weeks ago (see here). I was so intrigued, I had to find out more.
This beautiful 1874 building is known as The Old Village School. Its historical name is the Wells River Graded School and it is located in the village of Wells River, Vermont.
Here’s the town of Wells River depicted in an old postcard:
I can’t pick out the school but I do see a steeple, or bell tower at the far end of the town.
The Old Village School is said to be “an outstanding representation of French Second Empire architecture”.
The old school served the Wells River and Newbury communities until 1967, when the school officially closed.
– from: http://www.oldvillageschool.com
The historic photo above was surprising to me because it put the actual size of the building in perspective with the students and staff shown out front. The school is a lot BIGGER than I had originally thought. Either that, or the humans were just really tiny back then.
The Wells River Graded School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Since then, the school has been multi-purposed as a radio station, a probate court, law offices, a retail store, residential apartments, Pilates studio, counseling office and currently; a yoga studio and tanning & massage business.
A succession of private owners have implemented restoration projects over the last decade.
Have a look at some of the interior before and afters…
A very narrow hallway before renovations…
That same hallway after some sprucing up…..
And finally, this large former classroom with the ceiling falling down…
Not sure what the enclosed structure in the corner is (time-out box?) but it was preserved during the renovation process:
Penalty box? Confessional? Broom closet? Loo?
In any case, you can read more about this history of the Old Village School in Vermont here.