HISD Preserves Historic School Building

One of Houston's oldest public schools is getting a complete makeover that includes a partial demolition, but a sizable portion of the historic old school will be preserved and restored. Historic preservation groups hope this will set a trend.

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The sound you hear is a big back hoe tearing down one of the buildings at Lantrip Elementary School in the old Eastwood neighborhood east of downtown Houston. Lantrip was built in 1914 as Eastwood Elementary, and it's one of the finest examples of Spanish Mission style architecture left in Houston. Project Manager Steve Morton says part of the school will be demolished -- but the old main building with its Alamo style front will stay.

Morton says the old main building will be renovated, and the adjoining new buildings will be in the same Spanish Mission style. The buildings coming down have some striking architectural fixtures, such as high arching wooden entryways, which will be saved and incorporated into the new buildings. Morton says a lot of people were involved in the effort to preserve this old school.

Lantrip's old library building is coming down, but a Spanish style fireplace donated to the school by Miss Ima Hogg in the 1920s will be saved and moved to the new library. Morton says he's been in construction a long time and he's torn down a lot of old buildings, but it's nice to save something once in a while.

The $16 million price tag for this work will be paid out of school bond funds approved by HISD voters several years ago.

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