Filed Under Education

Noble Elementary School

Covered in large farms in the mid-19th century, the northern end of Cleveland Heights was sparsely populated. The twenty school age-children all attended a simple one-room school house starting in the 1840s. This schoolhouse continued to serve the slowly growing student population up to the turn of the century, when the increasing number of students demanded action by the school district. In 1910, the district engaged architect Harlan E. Shimmin to design a larger Noble School, which faced Noble Road.

After just twelve years, the student body outgrew the 1910 Shimmin building. In 1922, the current building was constructed, fronting on Ardoon. This new building featured a courtyard and a large auditorium with elaborate decorations and a ticket window. Designer Franz C. Warner employed a design concept he also used at Taylor Elementary of a large auditorium located above the gym. Noble's auditorium was designed to seat 600 even though when the building opened in 1922 in only housed seven classrooms! The community utilized the auditorium for public showings of movies (the original movie projector is still in the building), church congregations, lectures and other events. The building was conceived with additions in mind and the first one was designed in 1925 flanking Parkdale Road. Its seamless design makes it appear as if built with the front of the school and it added another ten classrooms. This contrasts with the 1950 addition, which was built to a contemporary design much to the chagrin of the PTA and neighbors who preferred this new wing be built on the north side of the building and match the rest of the school.

While the students no longer wear petticoats and knickers, Noble Elementary School continues to provide a wonderful education in a warm and friendly environment.

Images

Recent View of Exterior Despite the 1970s windows, the grandeur of the 1922 building and the original trees remain today at Noble Elementary School.
Noble Schoolhouse, Circa 1890s Teacher Josephine Armstrong described the parents of the students who lived during this time, saying that 'Many of these people were dairymen; some were gardeners. They had a long day, rising long before light; returning from their routes in the afternoon, they were busy with the cares of farm and herd until dark again.' Image courtesy of the Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation
Original Noble School, ca. 1890s Teacher Josephine Armstrong described life at the one room Noble school in the 1890s, saying: The little school consisting of twenty pupils was interesting. They came and stayed all day, bringing their lunches with them...If it were too warm in the school house on a spring day, the pupils prepared their lessons under the shade of the great maples in the yard...Sometimes the entire school walked out at noon time...and gathered the early spring flowers, picnicked in the woods, or in winter took their sleds to the hillside and slid down with no fear of traffic. Image courtesy of the Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation
Potter Estates, 1923 Ad The new 1922 Noble School building, as well as other school facilities in the area, was an attraction for real estate developers and new homeowners. A 1923 ad for the Potter Estates development, located just west of the school, enthused: 'With such facilities for the education of the children of today - the men of tomorrow - the fresh, clear air of the heights, no better location could be found than Potter Estates for fathers and mothers of growing children to locate their future home.' Image Courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Division of Special Collections.
Fifth Grade Class, 1930 Image courtesy of the Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation
1926 Sanborn Map This 1926 Sanborn map shows the original public library building, the 1910 Noble School designed by Harlen Shimmin and the new school building completed in 1922 all on the same property.
View From Montevista Road, 1961 Image Courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Division of Special Collections. Cleveland Press Collection.
Elevation Sketch, 1921 Franz C. Warner designed several of the Cleveland Heights School district's early 20th-century buildings, including the 1922 Noble building pictured here. Image courtesy of Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation
Science Class, 1957 The most modern techniques were used in the science classes in the 1950s. Image courtesy of the Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation
Library, 1957 The location of the library has changed throughout the history of the school building. The library is now in the former courtyard of the 1922 building. Image courtesy of the Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation

Location

1293 Ardoon St, Cleveland Heights, OH 44121

Metadata

Mazie Adams, “Noble Elementary School,” Cleveland Historical, accessed January 28, 2022, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/496.