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 both the school as an institution 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, Fort Worth 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, but in 1955 Technical High School moved to building C. 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.

As building C’s cornerstone and nameplate over the west entrance remind us, building C was originally Fort Worth High School, replacing building A, which replaced the high school building that burned in 1910.

By 1927 building C, which had been Fort Worth High School, was renamed Central High School. In 1935 it 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. Technical High School was renamed for Green B. Trimble after the longtime principal retired in 1966.

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 (although the building was conceived as “Southwest Junior High”). But when the school opened in 1936 it was named “McLean Junior High” (although this 1935 clip shows that originally the building that today houses Rosemont Junior High—built at the same time as McLean—was to be named “McLean Junior High.” But the South Fort Worth Civic League wanted the school on Prince Street to be named after the adjacent Rosemont Park and shuddered at the prospect of school athletes being called “Pinkeys.” (Prince Street disappeared when Seminary Drive was built between the school and the park). 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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