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Abigail Vare School

Abigail Vare School

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Abigail Vare School
Abigail Vare School, May 2010
Location 1619 E. Moyamensing Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°58′22″N 75°09′03″W / 39.9728°N 75.1507°W / 39.9728; -75.1507Coordinates: 39°58′22″N 75°09′03″W / 39.9728°N 75.1507°W / 39.9728; -75.1507
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1903–1904
Built by Samuel Garley, Jr.
Architect James Gaw
Architectural style Classical Revival
MPS Philadelphia Public Schools TR
NRHP reference # 86003339[1]
Added to NRHP December 4, 1986

Abigail Vare School is a former school building located in the Pennsport neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is located across from Dickinson Square Park.[2]

History

It was built in 1903–1904, and is a three-story, square stone building in the Classical Revival-style. It features a central projecting pediment with Ionic order columns and decorative Palladian window, an oversized molded cornice, and a hipped and gable roof with decorative brackets.[3] The school was named after Abigail Vare, the mother of the three Vare Brothers (including William Scott Vare), who became politicians and contractors.[4]

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.[1]

In December 2012 Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. presented a proposal that would close the George Washington School and move Abigail Vare School into Washington's building. At the time Washington's building was in a better condition compared to Vare's, while the Vare school had an academic performance superior to that of Washington's.[5] In March 2013, the school district voted to close Washington.[6] Abigail Vare School moved from its previous building to the former Washington building,[7] and it is now known as Vare-Washington School.

After Washington-Vare moved to the former Washington school, the former Vare school remained vacant. The school district and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation listed the Vare building for $2.5 million. Concordia Group, a company headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, acquired the Vare building, along with Germantown High School and three other schools, for $6.8 million.[2] The SRC voted on this sale in September 2014.[8]

In 2015 Concordia Group announced that it wished to construct six townhouses next to the former Vare building and also convert Vare itself into 45 apartment units.[2] The developer engaged in a community meeting with area residents, and it reduced the number of units to 41, in addition to reducing the amount of parking.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Jennings, James. "Mt. Sinai Developer Plans Apartments, Townhomes at Shuttered Pennsport School." Philadelphia. June 10, 2015. Retrieved on November 30, 2015.
  3. ^ "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System.  Note: This includes B. Mintz (July 1986). "Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form: Abigail Vare School" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  4. ^ Avery, Ron. "Nepotism's The Name Vips Had Dibs On Area Places." Philadelphia Inquirer. July 12, 1995. Retrieved on November 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Graham, Kristen A. "Philadelphia superintendent identifies schools he intends to close." Philadelphia Inquirer. December 15, 2012. Retrieved on November 30, 2015.
  6. ^ Medina, Regina. "Philly union challenges teacher-dump decision." Philadelphia Inquirer. May 24, 2013. Retrieved on November 30, 2015.
  7. ^ Graham, Kristen. "SRC votes to spare four schools." Philadelphia Inquirer. Thursday October 17, 2013. Retrieved on November 30, 2015. "CLOSING:[...]George Washington Elementary School, 1198 S. 5th Street Abigail Vare Elementary School, 1621 E. Moyamensing Avenue (building only, moves into George Washington Elementary)"
  8. ^ "SRC will vote on sale of 11 closed schools." The Notebook. September 18, 2014. Retrieved on November 30, 2015.
  9. ^ Brey, Jared. "Maryland developers see opportunity in Philly's institutional shells." PlanPhilly at Philadelphia Inquirer. Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Retrieved on November 30, 2015.

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