Filed Under Education

East High School

The 36-year-old building with the boarded up windows and doors that stands today at East 79th Street and Superior Avenue is the second incarnation of Cleveland's famous East High School. East High School was coined a "20th-century schoolhouse" when it opened its doors on November 26, 1900. The "original" East High School was the talk of the town, as no other school in the city could compete with the grandeur of the $180,000 brick school building that opened at East 82nd Street and Decker Avenue. The present building, constructed just to the northwest of the original, was built in 1975 at a cost of $17 million. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District closed the school at the end of the 2009-2010 school year as part of the District's Transformation Plan.

The original East High School initially offered only three courses of study -- classical, English, and scientific. It was run much like a city, as students elected a senior classmate as "mayor" and nine "judges" from each class, a practice that gave East High some of its uniqueness. The motto 'Noblesse Oblige" was adopted by East High's first principal Benjamin U. Rannells in 1900, providing the guidance that each graduating class carried on as it pursued life's endeavors. East High School was also known for its sports and won various titles and championships, both locally and statewide. "The Home of the Blue Bombers," with its blue and gold school colors, became so popular during the 1900s that the school's enrollment increased to over 1,200 students within five years of its opening. "Eastites," as its students were called, proclaimed and believed in "nothing but the best."

Despite the fact that new East High School was built in 1975 amidst a declining urban neighborhood, it continued to be the pride of the community. As one looks today at the broken marquee out front that reads "Home of the Blue Bombers," however, the school is now marked as being the home of whatever neighborhood gang decides to tag it.

East High School came a long way from its three courses of study back in 1900, evolving to offer numerous courses and a wide variety of vocational programs at the time of its closing 110 years later. Although its doors will most likely remain closed, East High will never be forgotten by the many proud and diverse students that have crossed through them in the past.


East High, 1912 The original East High School opened its doors to students in 1900. It was torn down when a new East High opened in 1975. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Latin Class, ca. 1900 This is what a traditional classroom at East High School looked like around the time that the school opened its doors in 1900. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
East High Basketball, 1941 The 1941 East High Blue Bombers basketball team. Picture are (from left) Rudy Medevic, Jack Coyne, Phil Nelson, Harry Landon, Frank Turkowski, Ed Schott, Frank Mohorcic, Kenneth Weiss, and Coach Bill Fleishman. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Old East High, ca. 1970s A view of the rear of old East High School taken from a nearby alleyway, circa 1970s. This school was demolished when the new East High opened in 1975. Image courtesy of Western Reserve Historical Society
New East High An artist's conception of the new East High School, which opened in 1975. This building closed in 2010. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections
Interior, 1976 A view of the inside of the new East High School in 1976. Image courtesy of Cleveland State Library Special Collections


1349 E 79th St, Cleveland, OH 44103


“East High School,” Cleveland Historical, accessed June 9, 2023,