Amos Lawrence School // 1929

Located near the Longwood Area of Brookline is the Amos Lawrence School, a handsome inter-war Classical Revival school building. The first Lawrence School was built in 1873 for the growing population of the area after the conclusion of the Civil War, and was designed in the Victorian Gothic style by the firm of Peabody & Stearns. The school was brick and wood construction and was enlarged and renovated several time before a
determination was made in 1929 to build a replacement.

The town hired the architectural firm of R. Clipston Sturgis to design a slightly larger school building that could meet the needs of the modern student. The firm’s first proposal was a large Tudor style school, but it was turned down by the Advisory Committee for the exorbitant cost. A more refined Classical Revival building was later proposed and slightly modified by the demanding Committee. The town saved an estimated $225,000 in construction costs by eliminating wings on either side, combining two front entrances into one, combining the auditorium and gymnasium, and substituting “second-class” construction for “first-class.” Meaning that instead of concrete walls and floor throughout, wood was to be used for the floors of the rooms. The school also required additions later on and has had at least three, to keep up with the growing population of the suburban town. Here’s to hoping this Lawrence School doesnt suffer the same fate as the first!

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