Next up in our series on historic buildings for Preservation Month is Schenley High School and the release of a new book about the school.
I have been interested in learning more about the Schenley High School building for quite sometime. I have never been in the building, but it has been a place that have been wanting to learn more about. Beyond being a beautiful building, Schenley High school served as a model for integrated schools.
I have friends who attended Schenley who incredibly fond of this building and their time spent inside. I know there was quite a debate about closing of Schenley High School, which closed for good in 2011 and was sold to PMC Property Group. As I have been learning more about historic preservation and community spaces, I am interested to learn more about how this went from a top high school to an empty building.
The Schenley High School Building has been in the news recently for a few reasons. It will soon reopen as an apartment building with rentals starting this summer.
The Schenley Experiment
The other reason you may have heard about this building is that it is the subject of a new book, The Schenley Experiment: A Social History of Pittsburgh’s First Public High School (Amazon affiliate link), by Pittsburgh attorney Jake Oresick, who attended Schenley High School. Both the City Paper and NextPittsburgh have published profiles of Jake Oresick and his new book.
- The Schenley Experiment chronicles the life of an extraordinary Pittsburgh school, NextPittsburgh, May 4, 2017.
- A new book chronicles storied Schenley High School: Author Jake Oresick discusses The Schenley Experiment, Pittsburgh City Paper, May 3, 2017.
If you are interested in hearing more about The Schenley Project, Jake Oresick and a panel of former Schenley High School teachers will be the subject of the Pittsburgh Arts & Lecture’s Made Local event on Monday at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Oakland. The event is free to attend with registration.
A Look Inside Schenley High School
- The movie Me, Earl & The Dying Girl (Amazon affiliate link) which was written by Schenley alum, Jesse Andrews, was filmed at Schlenley High School. ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’ director found Pittsburgh picture perfect, Post-Gazette, June 24, 2015.
- Abandoned America has a photo set on their website of photos inside Schenley High School after the school closed.
- Exterior photos and architectural drawings – Father Pitt has a post on the Schenley High School exterior from 1916.
- ‘Ghosts of past’ plague closed Schenley High School in North Oakland, Tribune Review, Febraury 11, 2013 – this article has a series of photos including one of the auditorium.
The trailer for the book includes several historic images of the building as well as lots of facts about Schenley High School.
I was hoping to, but unable to find some photos of the pool, which I believe was added at a later date. According to a recent NextPittsburgh article about the apartments, the pool has been replaced by a parking garage.
I am looking forward to reading Oresick’s book and learning more about this building and how it came to be that it went from a model for public education to a financial liability for the Pittsburgh school district. It is interesting to see how much Pittsburgh has changed over the past 6 years since Schenley closed.
Do you have some photos of Schenley High School to share? We would love to post them here on the blog and share with Preservation Pittsburgh. Leave a comment below or send an email to info-at-IheartPGH.com
May is Preservation Month
Check out some of the other historic buildings and preservation groups we have posted about for preservation month:
- John Woods House, The Second Oldest House in Pittsburgh
- East Liberty Valley Historic Society
- Jane’s Walk Pittsburgh