The First 300

Public Schools

Ruins of stone Ardmore Public School, built c. 1876. When the photo was taken, in October 1900, (after devastating fire) it had served as both an elementary and Lower Merion’s first high school from 1894 to 1910. (Rebuilt of stone in 1901.) Located on south side of Ardmore Avenue and West Athens Avenue. Demolished c. 1963. Site now has subsidized housing facility.
Ardmore Avenue School, rebuilt of native stone in 1901 after fire. Served as both elementary and high school until 1910 when new high school was built on Montgomery Avenue at School House Lane.
Bala School, constructed of stone in 1888. Located on the southeastern corner of Union and Bala Avenues. Demolished c. 1974 when the new Bala School was built at Highland Avenue and Old Lancaster Road, adjoining the Bala-Cynwyd Public Library. Site now owned by Township and has a gym and park.
Bryn Mawr School on the north side of Lancaster Avenue, opposite Prospect Street. Levering’s 1851 map showed a Union School House at about the same location. Two and a half story native stone building appears on 1871 map. Served until c. 1915 when new brick school was built on the southeast corner of Bryn Mawr Avenue and Old Lancaster Road. Used again briefly in 1923-24 when there was a delay in opening Ardmore Junior High. On the 1926 map, school is shown as Moose Home and later Moose Hall. Demolition occurred after 1936. Now a parking lot.
Class at Bryn Mawr School, c. 1890s.
Cynwyd Elementary School, Bryn Mawr Avenue, Manayunk and Levering Mill Roads. Photo c. 1930s, looking northwest. Brick building designed by Savery, Scheetz and Savery (architects for Ardmore Junior High, 1923-24 and the Administration Building, 1931-32, in Ardmore.) It was built in 1914 at a cost of $57,010 on land owned since 1812 by the Trustees of the Lower Merion Academy.
Merion Elementary School. Native gray stone, built 1925. North side of Bowman Avenue between Baird Road and South Narberth Avenue. Still in use.
Narberth Public School, photo c. 1940. Native gray stone building designed by D. Judge DeNean, c. 1892, for the Lower Merion School District at the northeast corner of Sabine and North Essex Avenues. Bought in 1895 by the Borough of Narberth. used for all grades through high school until 1923, after which the borough paid tuition to the Lower Merion School District for each of the students after 8th grade to attend Lower Merion Junior and Senior High Schools. Demolished in 1961, the site is now being used for daycare.
Ardmore Junior High decorated with winter scenes in the windows and a holiday star over the Indiana limestone motto: “Enter to Learn / Go Forth to Serve.” Photo taken in 1948 when Edward Holyoke Snow was principal. Demolished in 1992, the site now a parking lot and storage facility.
Lower Merion Junior High’s first faculty, 1923-24. Principal Edward H. Snow, a New Englander, is in back row, center.
Audience in the auditorium watching Ardmore Junior High students, early 1930s. Demolished 1992. The stage portion is now a storage facility.
Girls’ domestic science class, c. 1930. Ashland School had a suite of rooms, including a kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom. The girls learned how to care for all the rooms in their future homes/apartments.
Lower Merion High School football team, 1919.
Shop class for boys, c. 1930s, at Ashland Elementary School. Traditionally, girls had classes in cooking and sewing when the boys had wood and metal shop. The Belmont Hills School reopened in 1998 after extensive renovations.
Boys’ shop class, Lower Merion Junior High School, c. 1930. The print shop teacher was Bernard McManus.
Silence and order reign in the library at Lower Merion Senior High, c. 1930s.
Aerial view, c. 1950, of Lower Merion High School complex. bus garage; Clarke House; Pennypacker Field. (left to right) Technical Building, c. 1938; cafeteria wing, 1950; Lower Merion Senior High School, built 1910, demolished 1963; Administration Building; Ardmore Junior High, built 1922-23, demolished 1992. (foreground) General H.H. Arnold Athletic Field, stable demolished c. 1960s.

Students in front of Lower Merion Senior High, c. 1950s, waiting for one of the ten school buses. The building was demolished in 1963 and replaced by the present high school.