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National and State Registers of Historic Places

Garfield Elementary School

Picture of property 300 NW 7th Street
Abilene (Dickinson County)
Listed in National Register Nov 4, 2009

Architect: Radotinsky, Arch, KC,Cayton Assoc Abilene
Category: school
Thematic Nomination: Historic Public Schools of KansasNew Deal-era Resources of Kansas

Designed by Kansas City-based architect Joseph W. Radotinsky, Abilene's Garfield Elementary School was built in 1942 with the assistance of the federal Work Projects Administration. Radotinsky's designs of the 1930s and 1940s were notable, breaking from the Progressive Era tenets that had defined educational architecture for the first three decades of the 20th century. A review of school board minutes and local media coverage of the school's planning and construction clearly portrays an emphasis on modern accoutrements, an attention to functional aspects of the school's use, consideration of maintenance and performance of materials, and planning for future expansion. With its blond brick and concrete construction, horizontal lines and bands of windows, stepped bays, and simple form, it is an excellent example of Modern and Art Moderne architecture. It was nominated as part of the "Historic Public Schools of Kansas" and the "New Deal-Era Resources of Kansas" multiple property nominations for its association with local educational history and its architecture.

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