Ogden International School of Chicago
by: chicago designslinger
[Ogden International School of Chicago (2011) Nagle Hartray Architecture, architects /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
When students arrived for school at Ogden International School in 2011, they were entering a new building, but coming to the same location. The state-of-the-art, $58 million facility, replaced the Ogden Public School building of 1953, which was demolished in 2009 to make way for the International redo.
[Ogden International School of Chicago, 24 W. Walton Street, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
Ogden was named for William B. Ogden, Chicago's first mayor, owner of vast amounts of city acreage, and one-time president of the Union Pacific Railroad. He'd come to Chicago in 1835, from his home in New York, to oversee the sale of some of his brother-in-law's real estate investments located in the western outpost. In 1836, Ogden came back and stayed. After deciding to put down roots in the small town, the East Coast transplant asked New York architect John M. Van Osdel to design a house on a 4-acre piece of land north of the river that Ogden had purchased. Van Osdel came west to supervise the construction of his grand Greek Revival design, liked what he saw, took his client's lead, and relocated to the sparsely populated city, thus entering the history books as Chicago's very first architect.
[Ogden International School of Chicago, Washington Square Park, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]
The first Ogden School was the tenth school built by the Chicago Board of Education, and originally stood at Chestnut and State Streets on land donated by the former mayor. Destroyed in the fire that burned the north side to the ground in 1871, the school was rebuilt, and rebuilt again in 1884. By the late 1930s parents considered the old building a fire trap, and finally in 1953, 700 students moved two blocks up State to Walton Street, where they began attending classed in their new, $1.2 million building. But 50 years later, the school was overcrowded and outdated. When plans were drawn-up for this replacement, the architects at Nagle/Hartray incorporated a number of architectural elements of the 1950s-era building into their new design. So as students enter their 21st century version of Chicago's tenth school, the buffed and polished granite and limestone inscribed panels can serve as reminders of 150+ years of Ogden school history.
[Ogden International School of Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]