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Lake Street School/Edison

1880-2021

Situated on the northwest corner of Lake and Russell streets in the Edison Neighborhood, the first Lake Street School was erected in 1880 and demolished in 1958. Multiple additions were made to the building over the course of three decades (1891, 1899, 1902, 1911). It was razed after it was deemed a fire hazard.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, 1896. Library of Congress

A new building at the same location was attached to the north end of the original school in 1923. In 1931, the school was renamed Edison School, after the celebrated inventor Thomas Edison. The overall acreage of the school site was 5.81 acres, second only in size to the Lincoln School (6.98 acres). Like its predecessor, additions were made to the 1923 structure, the first in 1958 and a second in 1969. At the time of its demolition in August of 2021, the 1923 addition and its multiple add-on’s was called Edison Environmental Science Academy.


The original three-story building, located in the school district’s fifth ward, reflected the architectural style of its day–a symmetrical, brick Italianate structure with an arched entryway, sash windows, an ornamental cornice and decorative cupola.

Lake Street School, c.1880-1894. From “Art Work of City of Kalamazoo”, 1894

Lake Street/Edison School with 1923 addition c.1940. KPL catalogue number P-1018

Article written by Ryan Gage, Kalamazoo Public Library staff, March 2022

Sources
Books

School Building Survey and Program for Kalamazoo, Michigan, Russell Doney (H 379.774 D68)


Local History Room Files

Subject File: Kalamazoo Public Schools – Lake Street School

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