For over 100 years a school had stood at the site of the former West Pittsburgh Street Elementary School. The first school was a four-room brick building which was built in 1880. In fact, when Ludwick, East Greensburg, and Southeast Greensburg were merged into the borough in 1905 Ludwick was the only one with an adequate school.
The year is 1923 and Greensburg’s need for additional classroom space was increasing in the Ludwick section of town and additional property was purchased at the Luckwick school site and construction started on a new elementary school.
The school was completed four years later, in 1927, at a cost of $149,800 and had the capacity for 500 students. It was named West Pittsburgh Street School.
I’m not sure when I really became aware of the West Pittsburgh Street School since I went to elementary school in neighboring Hempfield Area School District, but I believe it when when I was in early high school and just developing my love for history and photography. I would see the school standing beside the hospital and often wondered what it looked like close up.
One day, armed with my camera, I decided to capture some images of the old school. I was into using black and white film at the time so the only pictures I have are in black and white. (Note: I apologize for the poor quality of the photos, they were pulled from some old 35mm film I found)
Sadly, like many of the historic relics in Greensburg, the school fell prey to decline and a changing population. Schools were merged and new schools were built. West Pittsburgh Street School closed in 1991 and sat vacant for years.
The school was eventually purchased by Westmoreland Hospital and torn down to make way for additional Emergency Room parking. Unfortunately, since the hospital was simply using the school for an eventual parking lot, they let it deteriorate further.
Thankfully, I was able to capture some of these shots before the school was torn down in 2001. Apparently, some of the old school still lives on as a former educator at West Pittsburgh Street School who had since moved to Hutchinson Elementary requested that one of the old chalkboards be installed in the one-room schoolhouse on the Hutchinson Elementary property.
In the meantime, West Pittsburgh Street Elementary School still lives on through pictures and in memories.
What are some of your memories of the West Pittsburgh Street Elementary School?
Learn more about the area’s history with these books: