Contact: Kara O’Keeffe

Milwaukee, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society has announced the listing of the Grand Avenue Elementary School in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, in the National Register of Historic Places. National Register designation provides access to certain benefits, including qualification for grants and for rehabilitation income tax credits, while it does not restrict private property owners in the use of their property.

The Grand Avenue Elementary School, designed by architects Van Ryn and DeGelleke in the Collegiate Gothic style, was built in 1921. Van Ryn and DeGelleke were experts in the field of school design, keeping up with the latest trends and incorporating them in their projects. Their expertise is evident in this school; the interior arrangement of classrooms and support spaces are derived from education philosophy of the era and serves as an excellent example of the way these philosophies are applied to school design.

In addition to state-of-the-art building systems, the new building included both a girls and boys gymnasium, classrooms dedicated to domestic sciences and manual training, an auditorium, library, indoor playroom (for use during inclement weather), modern toilet facilities, dedicated Kindergarten rooms, and a large play lot.  This school is a rare, intact example of a schoolhouse type, highly representative of the most progressive trends in school buildings in the 1920s.  Because many Milwaukee schools were altered, including having additions constructed to the side or rear of buildings, this building is exceptional as an unaltered example of a graded school type from the early twentieth century.

The register is the official national list of historic properties in America deemed worthy of preservation and is maintained by the National Park Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Wisconsin Historical Society administers the program within Wisconsin. It includes sites, buildings, structures, objects and districts that are significant in national, state or local history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture.

To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit

About Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit

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