Summer can’t be over!
It’s still too hot and August has just begun.
When I was growing up, back to school always meant summer was over and cooler temperatures were soon to come.
School didn’t start until after Labor Day (and Oklahoma City is starting Monday).
I don’t remember it ever being too hot to learn or play at recess and I know we didn’t have air conditioning at my school, Traub Elementary School in Midwest City.
Now most mornings, I pass Emerson School on the corner of NW 7th and Walker.
I love to see the old school. It looks just like what a school should look like.
One built to last the ages, while educating students and preparing them for the world.
I love the stone lion holding a tablet on the roof. It looks like he’s watching over his students while keeping an eye on Oklahoma City.
There has been an Emerson School on this corner since 1895. The building has changed.
The first one burned and in 1907 brick building was built. It has been extensively remodeled over the years and little, if any remains of the original buildings.
The students have changed too, from elementary to high school students, but the location and mission to teach has remained the same.
In 1905, Emerson was one of the highest points in Oklahoma City (it sits on a hill and is three stories high). An unknown photographer turned his camera southeast towards downtown and took a picture of history.
It shows mostly houses, a downtown business district of buildings that look to be no higher than five or six stories, churches and industrial buildings with smoke stacks sharing their dark smoke.
In 1997, one hundred and one years later, Oklahoman photographer Jim Argo, took a photo from the roof of Emerson looking south towards downtown.
Side by side they show the progress of Oklahoma City over the years and now with the ongoing construction of the Devon Tower, downtown’s skyline is changing once again.
Emerson, named for poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, has been there all these years sitting on its hill, preparing students to go out into the world and we hope it will continue for another hundred years.
Imagine what the skyline might look like then!