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National and State Registers of Historic Places

Independence Junior High School

Picture of property 300 West Locust Street
Independence (Montgomery County)
Listed in National Register Dec 30, 2009

Architect: N. S. Spencer & Sons, T. W. Williamson &Co.
Category: school
Thematic Nomination: Historic Public Schools of Kansas

The Independence Junior High School was built in 1923 in the popular Collegiate Gothic architectural style. Character-defining architectural features of this three-story brick building include a crenellated parapet, pointed-arch door openings and quoins on every elevation. Like other Progressive-Era school buildings, it occupies a full city block, is located near the center of town, and its large auditorium was designed to accommodate public gatherings as well as school-related functions. The school district contracted with the Chicago-based architectural firm N. S. Spencer and Sons to design the building. Prominent Kansas school architect Thomas W. Williamson of Topeka designed the gymnasium addition in 1939 as a Public Works Administration project. Changes to the building include replacement windows and exterior doors and the alteration of some interior spaces. The building continues to function as a public school. The building was nominated as part of the "Historic Public Schools of Kansas" multiple property listing for its association with local educational history and its architecture.

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