Niagara Gazette

Columns

May 20, 2013

HIGGS: Still in high school

Niagara Gazette — Local Architect Clinton Brown recently described the style of the 168,000-square-foot building housing the Niagara Falls High School at the corner of Portage Road and Pine Avenue as “a three-story structure with concrete and steel structure, cut stone and masonry façade and classical inspired details. These include the hierarchical and symmetrical main and secondary facades, a central porch with six two-story engaged columns and the balustrade main staircase to the front doors and upper porch. The original four-over-four hung windows have been replaced with shorter aluminum sliding windows with solid infill panels above.”

Most of the following information was found in the Class of 1950 60th reunion book for their function in September of 2010. They meet every second Wednesday at the Jet Port for lunch. Stan Horab was responsible for the directory, serving as reporter, editor and publisher. I will share some of his findings with you.

The members of the senior class of 1924 were the first to graduate from this new building. They were the freshmen who were housed at the Fifth Street School I mentioned last week. As sophomores, they were sent to Maple Avenue School on that split schedule and rode the street cars to school. As juniors they went to South Junior in 1923 and they began their senior year in September 1924. These students had been in five to nine buildings during the years of the construction as sports, science and other classes were held in various places. During the first year at this school, the Girls’ Choral Club and the Boys Glee Club were formed and Wing Collar Day began on April 1. Boys wore wing collars and the girls wore hair ribbons.

The wing-collar was named as such because of the two ‘wings’ at the front and was popular at the turn of the century. They were usually worn with more formal attire, such as “white tie” but were also popular everyday collars. Starch was heavily used in the ironing process and the collar stayed stiff in the hottest weather. This is sort of the opposite of “casual Fridays” I guess.

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