Going Back to the Near Northside School on the Hill

Overlooking Hogg Park and White Oak Bayou, the old Robert E. Lee Elementary school is being renovated into a community center for the Near Northside. The school was designed by Alfred C. Finn and dates to 1919 and 1920, though it’s been vacant in this historic district since 2002. Architecture firm PGAL is preserving 3 of the building’s walls and decorative geegaws as well as the arched entryway that faces South St.; new space for what’s been named the Leonel J. Castillo Community Center is being built out the back, as this photo shows.


That photo, taken from Hogg Park, shows the south face of the building (with its widow’s peak). The building sits at the end of South St., between Quitman and Henry near N. Main. It’s planned to be open sometime this fall.

Those arches:

Attempts to contact PGAL haven’t been returned.

Photos: Allyn West

8 Comment

  • Well that’s certainly a better name.

  • That is a mighty fine looking scaffold job on the front of the building! Surely can’t be one of those pickup truck plasterers!

  • Down with revisionist history.

  • Revisionist history? Crikey, there are still plenty of other schools named after Robert E. Lee. Leonel Castillo had more impact on that neighborhood and its residents than Lee ever did.

  • The architects and contractors did a great job preserving the original architectural elements of the building. They demoed the entire building, but saved the three walls that face away from the highway. There were some beautiful architectural elements from the original building that were saved as a result.

  • “…on the HILL”????

    What the hell is that? Never seen one of those.

  • @Superdave, I live on a hill in Houston. There aren’t many, and they are all pretty much related to bayous

  • PC back pats all around!