Lakeview School

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Lakeview School
Active 19021981
School type Public
District Birmingham City Schools
Grades 1-7
Location 2801 Clairmont Avenue, (map)
This article is about the former Birmingham school. For the private school, see Lakeview Day School, for the Tuscaloosa County school, see Lake View Elementary School.

Lakeview School is a former Birmingham City School located at 2801 Clairmont Avenue. It was planned as early as 1890, but had to be postposed due to the economic fallout from the Panic of 1893. The original red brick building, designed by Wheelock, Joy and Wheelock architects, was completed in 1901 and opened to students in grades 1-4 on January 17, 1902. Twelve additional classrooms, for grades 5-7, were completed in 1909. A lunch room was added in 1911, with volunteers from the Lakeview Improvement Association preparing and serving the meals.

A playground, later named Underwood Park for Oscar Underwood, was constructed across 28th Street. The park was later moved to allow for expansion of St Vincent's Hospital.

Artists Frank and Martha Anderson were commissioned through the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration to produce a mural of scenes of discovery for the Lakeview School. Enrollment at the school peaked in 1938 with 849 students (dropping to 619 in 1959, to 318 by 1970, and below 200 by 1980).

A gymnasium was constructed at Lakeview School in 1952. A modern addition of six large classrooms and a teachers' lounge, connected by an open-air passageway, was completed in 1958. Warren, Knight & Davis designed the brick addition, which was built by the Perusini Construction Company for $107,000 from the 1953 Birmingham school bond issue.

A "speech and hearing center" was established at Lakeview School in 1964. That program continued when, in 1976, the school was made over as an alternative school offering an "Arts-in-Education" curriculum. Branko Medenica's 15-foot-tall sculpture, "Resurgence" was installed to mark the occasion.

The school building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 17, 1977. The school closed in 1981, and was sold to Lakeview Investments for $850,000. The buyers planned to convert the building into a retirement home. The pedestrian tunnel to Underwood Park under 28th Street South was filled and sealed off.

In 1985 the property was acquired by Bob Moody, Ralph Cook and Bill Martin and renovated as the new offices for Martin Advertising, which relocated from Office Park. The Andersons' murals, which had been cut down and stored away, were loaned back by the Birmingham Board of Education and re-installed as part of the refurbishment. New landscaping and flood lighting accentuated the appearance of the historic building, which reopened in 1986.

The building currently houses offices for Leo Ticheli Productions, Boyd Fernambucq & Vincent and others.



Lakeview's still got class]" The Birmingham News - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections

  • Rocker, Maggie & Sammie Auer (February 19, 2016) "Time capsule mystery from 1976 cracked in Vintage photos." The Birmingham News