North Fort Worth Public School/ Merida G. Ellis School – 14th

Built on the site of an earlier one-room schoolhouse, Merida G. Ellis School served the rapidly expanding population of Fort Worth’s North Side in the early twentieth century. Originally called the North Fort Worth Public School, it was renamed for Ellis, a large North Side property owner, when it became an elementary school. In 1968 the school was closed when a newer elementary school building to the east was completed. Designed by Marion L. Waller, architect of several other North Side schools, the two-story building of rectangular plan is clad in fine quality red brick over a rusticated cast-stone foundation. The contractor for the project was J. W. McPherson. A projecting centra! bay of the five-part facade contains the arched entry which once led to a fanlit door with side lights, now boarded up. Transomed, double-hung and arched windows set in threes on limestone sills embellished the structure; small, delicate, elliptical and rectangular windows widi limestone keystones grace the end bays. Brick pilasters on either side of the entry arch once supported limestone capitals, now removed. Deep enclosed eaves with modillions provide shade to the second story. Entrance on the east and west elevations are by way of overscaled arches. School records indicate that a fire occurred at the school in 1931, and it is likely that the roof was rebuilt at this time. Originally, a cupola, belltower and hipped dormers rose from the cruciform-plan flaring, hipped roof. The school grounds were landscaped, with Civil Works Administration and Works Progress Administration assistance, by Hare and Hare of Kansas City. Situated on a slight rise on the east side of N. Main Street near the North Fort Worth City Hall (NN-169), the powerful school building, now derelict, must have contributed to an impressive entrance to the heart of the North Side’s business district. The school was destroyed by fire in January 1986, but has been retained in the survey report for purposes of documentation.

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