East High School was coined a "20th-century schoolhouse" when it opened its doors on November 26, 1900. The "original" East High 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 2009-10 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, grew to more than 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 the new East High School was built in 1975 amidst a declining urban neighborhood, it continued to be the pride of the community until declining enrollment and security problems led to its closure in 2010. The vacant building, which suffered widespread damage at the hands of vandals and scrap thieves, underwent a $1 million renovation, reopening in 2013 as the East Professional Center, an administrative and training complex for a number of CMSD departments.

Images

The Original East High
The Original East High The original East High School opened its doors to students in 1900. It was torn down when a new East High opened in 1975. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: 1912
An Early Latin Class
An Early Latin Class This is what a traditional classroom at East High School looked like around the time that the school opened its doors in 1900. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: ca. 1900
East High Basketball Team
East High Basketball Team 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. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: 1941
Old East High, ca. 1970s
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. Source: Western Reserve Historical Society
New East High
New East High An artist's conception of the new East High School, which opened in 1975. This building closed in 2010. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Interior of New East High
Interior of New East High A view of the inside of the new East High School in 1976. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections Date: 1976

Location

1349 E 79th St, Cleveland, OH 44103

Metadata

CSU Center for Public History and Digital Humanities, “East High School,” Cleveland Historical, accessed June 18, 2024, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/290.