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Benjamin Franklin School

This large, imposing school was built in 1914 on east Main Street. This school held the 4th-8th grade students until 1952 when Mesa Junior High was built. It then became an elementary school until 1973. At that time the Benjamin Franklin Elementary school moved into the old Webster school building located at 236 S. Sirrine. It became Mesa’s first Back-to-Basics alternative elementary school. The old Franklin Building was left abandoned. The building was sold to the city and wrecking crews demolished the beautiful 62 year old building in January of 1976.

The architect firm Lescher and Kibbey, who later became Lescher and Mahoney, designed the building. This architect firm was responsible for designing more schools throughout Arizona than any other architect firm. The structure cost $75,000 and took a little over 4 months to build. The main structure was 70 feet wide and 270 feet long and held 20 classrooms. There was also a fumigating room to treat all books and supplies brought into the school.

Images

Old Franklin School
Old Franklin School Source: Our Town: The Story of Mesa 1878-1991
Franklin School
Franklin School Source: Mesa Grade School Photos Blog, (accessed April 21, 2018). http://mesagradeschoolphotos.blogspot.com/
May Day Celebration
May Day Celebration Three Maypoles were put up in front of the Franklin School to accommodate all the children. Source: Mesa Historical Museum via “Mesa history: Remembering when May Day was a thing,” The Arizona Republic, April 28, 2016, (accessed April 21, 2018). Date: 1948
Benjamin Franklin School Today
Benjamin Franklin School Today This photo shows the Franklin School's West Campus with the old Webster School bell in front. Source: Benjamin Franklin Library Resource Center, http://www.mpsaz.org/library/resource_centers/franklinwest/ (accessed April 21,2018).

Location

Metadata

Candace Reeb, “Benjamin Franklin School,” Salt River Stories, accessed May 24, 2024, https://saltriverstories.org/items/show/345.