Going, going, almost gone...Old Middletown high school/middle school's days are numbered
When it was completed in 1923 at a cost of over one million dollars, the magnificent building facing Girard Avenue in Middletown, Ohio, was hailed as “one of the most expensive and finest schools in the state at that time.” (1)
Reportedly the oldest school building in Butler County, the stately structure boasted a long and interesting history. It opened as Middletown High School and over the years housed the Freshman School, Stephen Vail Middle School and finally, Middletown Middle School.
It shared a large city block with the storied Wade E. Miller Gymnasium, where a Middie basketball standout named Jerry Lucas impressed sports fans and foes alike. That was before he attained fame as an Ohio State athlete, a Gold Medal Olympian, a professional American basketball player, memory expert and author. (2)
The grand building also housed a spectacular auditorium accented with marble, gold trim, silk wall tapestries, Tiffany glass chandeliers and other amenities. (1)
Today Middletown high school and middle school students attend classes and enjoy athletics at a new state-of-the-art complex on Breiel Boulevard.
Long vacant, the once-magnificent Girard Avenue school building now houses the ghosts of Middie glories past. Lately their only visitor has been the wrecking ball.
Like the old Miller gym, the entire school soon will be gone forever. But the memories will always remain.
Click the arrows on the photo above to see what Middetown’s old high school / middle school looks like today. Views are from Girard Avenue and Baltimore Street.
The black-and-white photo of Middletown High School (c. 1923) above can be found on MidPointe Library’s Digital Archives.
“A Brief History of the Middletown City School District 1800 to 1987” by Norman M. Hayes, available in MidPointe-Middletown’s Local History and Genealogy Gallery.
Wikipedia. “Jerry Lucas.”