This past Tuesday, the Heights’ second-oldest school celebrated a special milestone in the school’s history, as the campus turned 120 years old.
On Sept. 18, 1898, the “Harvard Street School” (now known as Harvard Elementary School) in the historic Houston Heights opened with 30 students total in the first five grades, and only one teacher, Miss Thielen. Today, the school consists of more than 700 students and a staff of more than 60.
It was the second school in the Houston Heights, after the Cooley School, and served the “South” side of the new city founded in 1891. The original frame structure was constructed at a cost of $604.35 and expenses of 45 cents for chalk, 75 cents for erasers and 50 cents for a hand belt were recorded.
The first high school (Houston Heights High School) would be founded a few years later in 1904.
HISD trustee Elizabeth Santos, new Houston Heights Association Executive Director Emily Guyre, Harvard Principal Laura Alaniz, and Mister McKinney with Mister McKinney’s Historic Houston were on hand to help Harvard Elementary students, faculty, and staff celebrate the milestone.
Mister McKinney provided a brief lesson on the school’s history and the history of Houston’s historic Heights neighborhoods. Beginning Friday, Sept. 21 through Saturday, Sept. 29, Mister McKinney will be conducting free tours of the Heights for any interested parties. Tickets and a list of tours can be found at MisterMcKinney.com.
Scroll through some of the photos above for shots from Harvard’s 120th birthday celebration.