Longfellow School

Downers Grove, IL

Client: McNaughton Development

Jean supervised Historic Illinois Buildings Survey (HIBS) recordation for Longfellow School in Downers Grove, Illinois, a project that was undertaken to mitigate the adverse effects of its demolition, per the Illinois State Agency Historic Resources Preservation Act. She researched and wrote the HIBS report; worked with photographer Leslie Schwartz, who took the required large format black-and-white photographs; and identified existing architectural drawings to submit with the final recordation package.

Longfellow School and its twin, Whittier School, were built in 1928 to alleviate overcrowding at the earlier Lincoln and Washington Schools in Downers Grove. Both one-story, flat-roofed buildings were sheathed in multi-colored face brick and originally featured extensive stone ornament at the parapet level. They were designed by the J.C. Llewellyn Company, a prominent, Chicago-based firm which specialized in school designs. Longfellow School featured a large gymnasium, kindergarten, four large classrooms, two smaller workspaces, a principal’s office, a nurse’s office, and two public bathrooms upon completion. It was expanded in 1951 with a south addition that had two large workshops. Longfellow School was closed in 1978 due to declining enrollment and it was subsequently repurposed to serve as instructional materials center for District 58.