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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Eastern Avenue School
Reference Number 13000666
State Michigan
County Kent
Town Grand Rapids
Street Address 758 Eastern Avenue, N. E.
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 9/4/2013
Areas of Significance EDUCATION, Architecture
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Eastern Avenue School was built in 1929 on Grand Rapids, Michigan's northeast side. The residential neighborhood, known as Highland Park, was originally settled by Polish immigrants, many of whom worked in the brickyard to the south of Michigan Street. Designed by Henry H. Turner as an elementary school for students in kindergarten and grades one through six, the school was also planned specifically to serve special populations among the city's elementary school-age children from the entire city and included an entire orthopedic floor for physically challenged students and an open or fresh-air classroom for sickly students. The building served as an elementary school until its closing in 2008. As the expansion of an earlier and smaller experiment in serving the city's elementary school-age children with special needs, Eastern is significant under Criterion A (Education) for its initial planning and use to serve the needs of that population in Grand Rapids. Built into a steeply sloping hillside , Eastern is significant under Criterion C (Architecture) as the architect's unique solution to designing classroom and activity spaces for two separate student populations and integrating them into one large building that provides grade-level access at multiple levels. The building is also significant for its 1920s exterior architectural character, with its period revival northern Italian Romanesque-inspired design combined with a few Art Deco details.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria