Edward School: A Walkerville Icon
School Thrown Open
The Weekly Record
bouquets of congratulations were hurled at the Walkerville school
board, Principal Hugh Beaton and all those connected with the erection
of the new King Edward School when this new educational edifice
was formally thrown open to the public Wednesday night.
assembly room was packed and the crowd overflowed the corridors.
The gathering included little children all dressed in their best
bib and tucker. Their smiling faces were a sufficient reward alone
to the school trustees who worked so faithfully to attain fruition
of a long cherished ambition and fond parents who will meet the
expenses with increased taxation.
is a little bit different from the old frame school house that I
attended when I was a boy," remarked a father, "but nothing is too
good for our boys and girls."
Edward School was literally on the edge of town when it opened.
Standing in the centre of the girls' grass-covered playground, a
person could look westward beyond the oat fields and vineyards and
the few new homes on Lincoln Road and make out the recently built
homes on Langlois Avenue, the last street in Windsor. To the south
no streets or buildings could be seen. Looking across unpaved Niagara
Street, one had a fine view of the new Edward Chandler Walker estate,
Willistead Manor. Scores of trees, some 40 feet tall, had been shipped
in from as far away as the Carolinas. No fence obstructed the view
of the newly finished buildings designed by Albert Kahn, also architect
of King Edward.
Preserve or Rebuild
by Elaine Weeks
the early 1990's, concern that King Edward was aging prompted renovation
and then demolition schemes. The Albert Kahn office in Detroit was
contacted to check blueprints of the school to verify building materials
used in construction. Copies of these plans, however, could
not be located due to confusion over the school's name and location.
Kahn's office only had plans for a Walkerville High School on Victoria
Road, as well as plans for a Victoria Public School, but nothing
for a King Edward School located on Chilver Road.
Marshall, owner/operator of NeoArch, a building design firm based
in Walkerville, has long had an avid interest and knowledge of Albert
Kahn's designs and works. Since there was no high school on Victoria
Avenue, and Marshall knew Kahn did not design Victoria Public School,
Marshall ventured to the Kahn office in Detroit to investigate.
Chilver Rd. was once called Victoria, Marshall discovered the blueprints
presumed to be for the two aforementioned schools, were in fact,
all for King Edward. He also discovered the structure was constructed
of load bearing masonry- not wood- the strongest argument used by
proponents of the school's demolition. Marshall also ascertained
that the structure was solid and well-built- a prime candidate for
renovation, not demolition.
to save the historic Kahn structure and push for renovations instead
of destruction, Marshall became an advocate for preservation, drawing
support from local architect Roc LeBlanc, and School Trustee Gail
Simko-Hatfield. Sadly, their efforts fell on deaf ears, and all
that remains of the original school is part of the front façade,
incorporated into the new building.
the new King Edward School cost nearly double the renovation estimate
(and probably more since the blueprints indicated the original structure
new school is larger than the original structure and sits closer
to Niagara Street. The south playground used for kindergarten and
day care children is extremely small. A parking lot was incorporated
into the former south playground and has proven inadequate as well.
Classrooms are smaller and the new cafeteria is not large enough
to accommodate all the students. And, five years after the school's
construction, one must, take care not to slip, as the roof
tends to leak!
Kahn must be rolling in his grave!
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