Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

The Knoxville Junior High School

Knoxville Junior High School

This splendid Tudor Deco palace takes up a whole large city block; in fact, it’s the symbolic center of Knoxville, occupying the lot where the original W. W. Knox house stood until the early twentieth century. The school was built in stages, beginning in 1927; the Charles Street front was finished in 1935. The architects were Press C. Dowler and Marion M. Steen, and the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural significance, as part of a package deal with a number of Pittsburgh public schools.

The school closed in 2006. It may stand for many more years, since Knoxville is not a prosperous enough neighborhood to make it worth demolishing; but it will eventually become too dangerous to let stand, so it is in danger until another use is found for it.


The main entrance is designed to impress us with the idea that education is important but also delightful.


These shields above the entrance express an ideal of balance in public education: Art, Science, Trades, Play.

Side entrance
Blackletter K

Even the side entrances are finely decorated.

View along Charles Street

A view along Charles Street.

Zara Street

The rear of the school along Zara Street.

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