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Rose Avenue School - New Castle PA

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The New Castle school system underwent a period of vast expansion in the 1920’s. Among the plans drawn up were those for large new primary school to be located on Rose Avenue in East New Castle. Construction got underway in the summer of 1923 and the fifteen-classroom brick school was opened for classes for 463 students in early September 1924. The Rose Avenue School was officially dedicated on Friday, November 21, 1924. (c1988) (Photo courtesy of Ashley Harlan Druschel) Full Size

The Rose Avenue School, designed by architect Harry M. Wirsing, served the community as an elementary school for many years. It was closed along with several other schools during a consolidation effort in June 1988. (1924)

The Rhythm Band of the Rose Avenue School. (Jun 1945) Full Size

This aerial photo from the late 1930’s shows the location of the Rose Avenue School and its surrounding property. The building was one of five elementary level schools closed during consolidation efforts in June 1988. Two years later it was sold to a developer and was then razed in 1994. Today the former school site is home to several residential homes along Rose and Ryan Avenues. (c1939)

The kindergarten class of the Rose Avenue School. (c1924) (Lawrence County Historical Society photo) Full Size

The Rose Avenue Elementary School, slated to close in June 1988, was put up for sale beginning in October 1987. Several plans to convert the building into apartments fell through, before Butler developer Charles “Bud” Holbein Jr. assumed ownership in 1992. Two years later the City of New Castle and Holbein went to court to fight over control of the property. The city eventually won the bitter legal battle and had the school demolished in November 1995. After several plans to erect a senior citizens apartment building fell though, the city had the property subdivided into ten lots in 1999. In 2002 the construction of a handful of single family homes began at the site. (1988) Full Size


  1. I had a dairy store at the corner of Rose Ave. and East Washington St. and a lot of the teachers would come to my store for lunch. Soup was 15cents Hamburgers 20Cents Milk Shakes 15 cents Sundays 10 cents banna splits 30cents sodas 15cents and if I had a favorite good looker you. got 10%off & you got a free tune on the juke box I lost money on the good lookers but it made my day. This was in 1947. My best customer was Lou Pagina Piano Player and arranger of the tiwanna Brass. Any body out there rember me ? Harry L. Banks

  2. I attended Rose Avenue from Sept. 1939 to June 1943. I remember the store on the corner, but not the name. I think it was called Root,s

    I’m now 80 yrs old and writing my memoir and thinking about the old school.

  3. I attended Rose Avenue School when I was in the 4th grad in 1947. I vaguely remember the store on the corner. What I do remember was the class member on whom I “a crush”. Her name was Cynthia Samone. Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to Cynthia…

  4. I want to see some color pics of rose avenue before u tore it down thanks

  5. Several of my classmates were farmed out to Rose Avenue School during the 59-60, 60-61, 61-62 and 62-63 terms
    when the old Thaddeus Stevens school had its second floor condemned due to fire hazard and the new TS school was
    being built from June 1962 to very early September 1963.

  6. please add more pics before it was tore down even some with boards up thanks.love this place

  7. On election days—in the early 1960s, at least—Rose Avenue School was a site where Fourth Ward voters would gather to cast their ballots. Voting booths were set up in the janitors’ room / boiler room in a segment of the school’s basement. A brick-sided stairwell with concrete steps ran parallel to the school’s west side; apparently janitors and voters were thought to have good knees to be able to navigate these. Voters also shared space with at least one of the school’s boilers, but I recall there being enough room for at least three cloth-walled voting cubicles and a table for the election officials. Ballots were paper, of course. My mother served as one of the on-site election officials, and tallying the ballots often kept her at the school until 1 or 2 A.M. I also recall being filled with a little more sense of fear when the “Fallout Shelter” signs appeared on the school’s brick walls while olive green painted steel barrels of crackers showed up in the storage area of the boiler room. Tasty offerings for help in surviving the mushroom clouds’ aftermath.

  8. The photo of the kindergarten class in 1924 appears to have been taken in another noteworthy aspect of the school’s west side. There, the building’s basic “U” shape (‘til about 1960 when the expansion occurred) was broken by a “bump-out” section. As in the photograph, the bump-out had windows on the north, south, and west sides. And again similar to the kindergarten class photograph, it was smaller than the classroom which gave entrance to it.

  9. My brother (Walter) and my sister (Jo-Ann) are both in the first row of the Rhythm Band photo appearing above. In that row, he’s the first boy seated from the left; she’s the second girl from the left.

    She and I brainstormed for some teacher surnames at Rose Avenue, and we came up with the following list of surnames (which we may have misspelled due to the passage of time and our slipping memories). They are Armstrong, Bates, Coates, Dart, Gallagher, Gresham, Kaufmann, Lutton, McDermott, McElroy, Schugar, Snyder, Tilia, Tomasello, White, Wiggins, and Zeigler. I also recall Ms. McFait (McFate?) as a “visiting” music teacher, and also a Mrs. Uhl, a substitute music teacher.
    Principal during my time at Rose Ave. = Mr. Cornelius; Head custodian = Mr. Newhart. Again, apologies for missing teachers and / or misspelling of names.

  10. Does anyone remember Miss Armstrong’s class during the Presidentual election of Nov. 1940. If you wore a Franklin Roosevelt pin on your shirt, she called you up to the front of the room and made you through the Roosevelt pin into the waste basket. Those who wore the Wendell Wilkes pins were OK.

  11. I attended Rose Avenue from first through fifth grades which would have been 1960-1965. The teachers I had, that I can remember were Mrs. Aiken (nee Sherman) in third and fourth grade and I believe Mrs. Skineski (sp) in second and Mrs. Robinson in first grade. I also believe I had Mrs. McDermott (sp?) in fifth grade.

    I loved the basketball coach but can’t remember his name.

    Mrs. Skineski made me wear a big sign around my neck saying “I forgot my handkerchief” when I asked her for a kleenex one day! :-)

    I remember the bottles of cold milk delivered every day outside the classrooms and lining up to receive the polio vaccine in sugar cubes.

    There was some lady who used to come and teach music maybe once or twice a year and who was wonderful. She had us all singing “She’ll be coming around the mountain” in unison within an hour or so.

    I lived right around the block on Adams Street back then and spent many summers and falls playing football and baseball on the school lots. The janitor, who looked like Mr. Clean and whom we called “Bugsy” for some reason, would come out and chase us off the front lawn, which was the best for playing football because the grass was so soft. Occasionally, we would bust out one of the windows from an errant baseball hitting it.. That sent us scattering away…

    Lots of warm memories. I was sorry when I drove by a few years ago to see it completely gone. I was not aware of its demolition. It was a wonderful place to go to elementary school.

    Would love to hear from any of my classmates… I am friends with Sam Francasio on facebook and linked in.. Only one from that time.

  12. I attended Rose Avenue in the late 50s, early 60s. Principal was Mr. Cornelius. My teachers (in order, 1st to 6th) were Mrs. Wilson (Miss Towne was our student teacher), Miss McNany, Mrs. Gallagher, Mrs. Ziegler, Mrs. Kaufman, and Mr. Bates. Music teacher was Miss McFate — she drove an Opel then and was a great bowler. Bugsy Newhart was our fearless janitor.

    My older friend, Tom Werhnyak, a 6th grader, once crushed a softball from the Ukrainian church all the way over the roof of the school. I broke my arm playing football on the paved playground — I recall the Thaddeus Stevens students (the Macri’s, Janet Verdi, et al) because I joined their lunch group so I wouldn’t have to walk home for lunch with my arm in a cast.

    I used to go to the library at the corner of Rose Ave and East Washington quite often. DePorzio’s store on Adams Street and Rotes’ store on Arlington Ave were our destinations for baseball cards. We’d sometimes buy a whole box full and chew the terrible gum for hours while counting our Marv Throneberrys and Choo Choo Colemans. Flipping cards was popular at recess, and we’d use crummy ones to make noise in the spokes of our bike wheels.

    The first grade classroom had its own private restroom, and boys and girls would line up to use it. I recall a fellow student once singing “Remember When” in the older boys’ restroom. Funny but it’s the little things…

  13. Oops, my teachers (in order, 1st to 6th) were Mrs. Wilson (Miss Towne was our student teacher), Miss McNany, Mrs. Kaufman, Mrs. Ziegler, Mrs. McDermott, and Mr. Bates. My sister had Mrs. Gallagher.

  14. I remember during the years 1939 to 1943 when fresh fruit was passed out to we students. One of the halls was lined with baskets of apples and sometimes oranges. The teachers would give each student one piece of fruit. We had to eat the fruit there,at school. For many of us, it was our only breakfast.

  15. I remember my teachers at wonderful Rose Avenue School when I went there from 1951 to 1957. Thanks, Richard Kovacs, for reminding me. 1st grade Miss Hovis (later she became Mrs. Snyder), 2nd grade Miss Smith, 3rd Grade Miss Gallagher, 4th grade Mrs. Ziegler (my sister had her in 1948 as Miss Tillia), 5th grade Miss Schugars, and 6th grade Mr. Bates. I’ll never forget Miss Gallagher reading “Mary Poppins” to us. Also in her 3rd-grade class, I came down with chickenpox right after we took our achievement test, and when I went back to school, half the class was out with chickenpox. I fondly remember the library on the corner of Rose Ave. and E. Washington Street, and Rote’s store on Arlington Avenue.

  16. Does anyone remember the school colors?


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