Norman School

3514 Jefferson Street, Kansas City, Missouri


Norman School

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The Norman School is locally significant under National Register Criterion C for the area of ARCHITECTURE. It is an intact example of the Elementary School sub-type of the Early Twentieth Century/ Progressive Era School property type as outlined in the MPDF -Historic Resources of the Kansas City Missouri School District Pre-1970- (MPDF). Construction of the two-story building occurred in two planned phases, beginning with the center, west, and north wings in 1906 and ending with the east wing in 1911. Charles A. Smith, architect for the Kansas City School Board from 1898 to 1936, utilized his standard five-part plan for the building that exemplified the newest technologies and safety concerns highlighted during the Progressive Era. Typical of Progressive Era schools, a dense residential community surrounds the property; the primary elevation faces the playground on the large, open lot; and the building displays distinctive Jacobethan Revival details, fenestration, and materials as applied to the standardized building form. The Norman School retains its original five-part form, limestone exterior; fenestration patterns with tall, narrow openings; and interior configuration. The overall plan of the school, with wide, double-loaded corridors, specific classrooms spaces and assembly room, and mechanical ventilation systems, addressed the safety and health concerns that shaped school buildings during the Progressive Era. The Norman School retains nearly all of its historic interior and exterior features, clearly representing its historic function and property type as a public grade school built in the early twentieth century. The unique features of the Norman School, compared with similar schools in the district, include the earliest exclusive use of local limestone as an exterior cladding and the retention of the building's original five-part plan without the construction of a later gymnasium and auditorium addition. The period of significance for this property is 1906 and 1911, the dates of construction for the two building campaigns, as dictated by the MPDF.

Posted to the NRHP 1-15-2014

Update Log 

  • May 14, 2017: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger
  • August 14, 2014: Added by Dave King