The Closure- Irving School

August 27, 2010 at 11:05 am 8 comments

I have lived across from Irving School for over three decades.

We looked at this house at night. We were strangers to Lorain, we didn’t know the area but fell in love with the “cottagey mock tudor”. This old house felt like home as soon as we walked in.

In fact I hadn’t even seen the upstairs when my husband ( aided and abetted by my mother who was visiting ) made an offer – full price $22,000.

The next morning I came and checked out the neighborhood-

Oh! Oh! there were some problems

There was the vacant house on the corner of 4th and Hamilton and the house next door was decidedly derelict. Funnily enough they still are there and derelict– somethings it seems never change.


I looked at the narrow street and there was a huge ( to my eyes) school building directly opposite. We did not have children at the time and I worried-

Oh dear what would it be like when summer was over.

“Never live across the street from a school”

had been advice given as we searched for our home, and here we were a stones throw away from the main entrance and no parking whew!

What had we done?

The sale went through and over the years we learned to adapt to our neighbor LCS . – We arranged our comings and goings to coincide with school hours, mornings and afternoon as school let in and let out could be a nightmare. At least a half hour of organized chaos happened twice a day and then “silence”. There were times when it was nightmarish ( especially in the rain and snow)

But on the other side of the coin there was the laughter of children every morning and afternoon and life games during recess, The school cut their grass, maintained their property and were good neighbors, our street got plowed first.

The school grounds gave ample opportunity for flag football, soccer and cheerleading skills to be hewned by the neighborhood kids. When our children came along they didn’t have to walk 2 miles in the snow with no shoes 😉

However that changed when someone in their infinite wisdom did away with neighborhood schools. In my opinion that is when the LCS started on its present course. But I digress

As I write this this morning, the flag is no longer flying above the front doors, the play yards have grass and weeds sprouting through the cracks. The letters on the sign board once proclaiming proudly the coming events have fallen away leaving something akin to a foreign language.

The building in just three short months has a decidedly dilapidated air about it. The laughter and voices of children silenced by their absence seems to have sucked the very “life” from the building, even the trees are dying.
This morning I should be hearing the voices of the children as they are dropped off , or arrive- the first day at “big school” for many . There are faint echoes but apart from one lone boy bewildered as to

“where is everyone”

and his mother looking perplexed motions him back to the car and the street is quiet once more devoid of the organized chaos that heralded “time for school”

Schools is out and I miss the first day of school. I miss the sound of the flag in the wind, the clink of the metal guidewires and I miss the
laughter of children .

Goodbye Irving – soon your bricks and mortar will be a memory too and my “outlook” will change but “for the better”-remains to be seen !!!!!! 😉

Entry filed under: Brit take, Charleston Village, city of lorain, education. Tags: .

Settlers’ Watch- Outlook Good! Needed – a Tattoo on my Forehead

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Renee Dore  |  August 27, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Glad to see something about Irving today also. I asked the neighboring children over here in Portside what schools they would be attending this year and it was sad not to here Irving in the mix. The foundations of this neighborhood certainly are going through transformations-some I also wonder about. It must be strange and almost lonesome to not have the school open anylonger. I had hoped at least one of the remaining buildings would be retained and still be used- Irving was one of them. I wonder when that school was built. Renee

  • 2. Grammy  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Loraine, I toally agree with you about the demise of the school district. So sad, schools are such a vital part of any community. To use them and the students for some other agenda is criminal.
    Children need to grow up with a sense of community and a neighborhood school helped provide their FIRST community.

    Good-bye Irving, Emerson and Whittier are waiting for you. The spirit of Longfellow-past and Hawthorne-past are waiting too.

  • 3. thatwoman  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Yes it is a very strange outlook again this morning…….I remember the one year Irving made national news CNN was all over the street- remember???? because a student had brought a weapon to school……HA!!!!!!!! now it wouldn’t even make the local paper…….. what has happened ?????????????????

  • 4. aylin  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Great post, I agree – schools are such a critical piece of community. It is unreal. Here, we face similar circumstances. We also have moved to “school of choice” which means anyone from anywhere can attend your local schools. What a disaster – people who dont live in the community just do not have the interest that people who live, eat, breath, sleep, play and contribute in the community do – it’s destroying communities! Now, in my city – residents are not sending their kids to city schools – for a multitude of reasons. The first being – safety. We live in a wonderful community, we pay high taxes and we also pay tuition. Catholics in Catholic schools, Jewish kids in Jewish schools, Unbelievers to Montessori and private schools, et al. More segregation – just what society needs, right? Ugh.

    BTW, I love house – it has so much character. We also live in a house in which the community is 100+ years old. There is nothing like the character of these beautiful, restored homes. They can not even make homes like they did back then – amazing craftsmanship.

    Take care, Loraine.

  • 5. Anne Molnar  |  August 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Loraine, I share your feelings. I also came to this city as a stranger in the tranqual years of the late fourties.. Tines really have changed. About this time of the year, I would have my windows opened to hear the practice sounds of Mr. Colliers marching band. Today those sounds are silenced at Southview.
    WE have to go forward and do the best that we can. We have good people living here. Many who care, and some who do not.The strength lies in the ones who do care. I commend the Charleston Group of fine people for what they have done to improve the quality of life here in Lorain. My sincere gratitude to all. Every day is a challenge and change. I will not give up, I love Lorain.

  • 6. Bill Sturgill  |  August 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I really believe aylin hit it on the head. Giving people more choices was just another way to segregate the community. I look for the days when we can just go back to neighborhood schools. I just wanted to let everyone know that I was told they( LCS) are planning closing ceremonies for the schools just shut down. Good news is you will have a nice new one soon on 6th street.
    I spent a lot of time in Irving, and have some nice memories of going to school there. Long summer days, baseball on the playground. Working for Mr. Norton in the library so he could keep me out of trouble. My first dance with a girl and how awkward it was for me, and all the friends I gathered along the way. Hope the new school last as long as Irving did. I’m going to have to get one of the bricks from that one……Bill

  • 7. Mark  |  August 27, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Nicely done, Loraine. Meister Road is where I spent 5 years of my elementary schooling, and it is now just a green field. The next 4 were spent at a parochial school, that is now used for community outreach. Admiral King is now Lorain High. Thanks for this.

  • […] whom I have said good morning to every day that I have lived in this house, is in its death throes. Irving School is going and today there is an on-line auction for Lorain City Schools LORAIN CITY […]

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August 2010

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