Built in 1850 for the borough of Birmingham, this is the oldest public-school building left in the city of Pittsburgh. It was built in the still-fashionable Greek Revival style, and it originally had a cupola in which the Birmingham town clock was installed. It remained a school of some sort until 1960; then it was sold to be used as a warehouse. In 1997 it was converted into lofts by serial restorationist Joedda Sampson, who has left a trail of beautiful restorations wherever she went.
Note the identical but separate entrances. As in many mid-nineteenth-century schools, one was for girls and one was for boys.
If your eye detects a not-very-subtle difference between the name “Bedford” and the rest of the inscription, you can tell your eye that it is because the old Birmingham Public School No. 1 was renamed after Birmingham was taken into the city of Pittsburgh in 1872. The name “Bedford” honors Dr. Nathaniel Bedford, who had been a surgeon at Fort Pitt before the Revolution, and later laid out the borough of Birmingham on his wife’s family’s land.
One response to “Bedford Public School, South Side”
[…] the ones who worked for Oliver—lived in tenements where they had no access to bathing. (Even the Bedford School across the street from this bathhouse had outside privies until 1912.) Oliver might not raise his […]