Horner School

On the morning of October 3, 1915, residents of Wilkinsburg woke up to terrible news. Horner School, at Wallace and North Avenues, had been gutted by fire in a devastating overnight blaze, despite the efforts of firefighters from Wilkinsburg and City of Pittsburgh Fire Companies No. 16 and 29.

The ruined building and its contents were a loss of more than $65,000 for the school district. It was the second school building on that site, having replaced the original Horner School, also destroyed by fire in 1890.

Horner School fire newspaper clipping

Horner's displaced students from the 1915 fire temporarily attended other schools in the district. In January 1916, Wilkinsburg citizens voted to approve a $250,000 bond issue to finance the construction of brand-new school building with all-modern facilities.

Dollar Bank purchased the entire bond issue in August 1916. Architects Ingram & Boyd designed the building, and general contractor Dawson Construction oversaw the project. On January 7, 1918, 650 grade schoolers and 660 junior high students walked through the doors of their new school, which boasted four stories of classrooms, a cafeteria, nurse's office, gymnasium and a swimming pool.

Today, the Horner School building constructed in 1917 is the home of Hosanna House, Inc.

Dollar Bank Cash Book entry, 1916

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