Scrambled Schools: Who’s on (Northwest Twenty-) First?

Get out your Big Chief tablet, sharpen your no. 2 pencil, and follow along as we review the ABCs (and DEFs) of Fort Worth school history. Pay attention. There will be a test.

To a school district, a school is an institution separate from the building that houses that institution. And as a public institution, a school—and the building that houses it—can exist long enough to have a complicated past.

For example, in the photo panel:

Building A was built in 1911 on Jennings Avenue as Fort Worth High School (also called “Central High School”) after the first Fort Worth High School burned in 1910. In 1918 building A became Jennings Avenue Junior High when the high school was replaced by a new school, Central High School (building C), on Cannon Street. Later building A was named Ernest Parker Junior High School and then Ernest Parker Middle School. (It is now Parker Commons apartments.)

Building B was built on Park Street in 1918 as North Fort Worth High School. In 1937 the school in building B moved to a larger building (F) on McKinley Avenue and became North Side High School. Building B became Technical High School in 1939, and in 1955 Technical High School moved to building C, which was the former location on Cannon Street of R. L. Paschal High School (which had moved to building E), and was renamed Green B. Trimble Technical High School. At that time building B became an annex of adjacent J. P. Elder Middle School (building D), which was built in 1927 on Northwest 21st Street.

Building C was built in 1918 as Central High School, replacing building A. In 1935 building C was renamed R. L. Paschal High School. In 1955 the school in building C moved to building E on Forest Park Boulevard, and Technical High School in building B moved to building C and was renamed Green B. Trimble Technical School.

Building D, immediately north of building B, is J. P. Elder Middle School, but when it was built in 1927 it was North Side Junior High School, a feeder school for building B, which is now the annex of building D.

Building E is R. L. Paschal High School, but according to the website Fort Worth Architecture the building was conceived as “Southwest Junior High.” By the time the school opened in 1936 it was McLean Junior High, although this 1935 clip shows that originally Rosemont Junior High—built at the same time—was to be named “McLean Junior High.” The original part of building E (the inner part with a gabled roof) has been surrounded by additions over the years.

Building F is North Side High School on McKinley Avenue. It was built in 1937 to replace the school in building B, which in 1955 moved to building C when the school in building C moved to building E.

Test time! Ready? Question 1: School A leaves the South Side at 10:20 a.m. traveling to the North Side at thirty miles per hour. School B leaves the North Side at 11:00 a.m. traveling to the South Side at forty-five miles per hour. At what point do you stop reading this question, lie down, and take a Dramamine?

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