Hi, Sarah! Well, since nobody else has weighed in, I'll have a go at this... Logan is McKenzie on Prairie Ave., the old Gross Point School became the American Legion post at 1925 Wilmette Avenue (near the corner with Ridge), Stolp School was right next to Central, Howard was where Howard Park is now (17th Street), Laurel School (1920-71) was at Laurel and 7th., and Central, Harper, and Highcrest are still around.
Hi Sarah! Patrick did a great job on his locations. Just to add a little extra: Stolp School faced west and is now a playground at Central School. The spire that rested atop Howard Jr. High (17th Street, 2 blocks south of Lake) is still there. The play fields west of the school used to be called the Village Green, and just west of the play fields was the Curtis Curling Center.
Glad to see a pic of Stolp - my two sisters went there.
I can start around 1975. Wilmette Jr High - Howard was one of two junior highs in Wilmette in the 1960's and 1970's. Howard closed after the 1979 school year and was torn in the early 1980's. Wilmette Junior High - Locust dropped the name Locust and became WJHS which is still open today and is not listed above. Stolp & Laurel were torn down before we moved to Wilmette. Central is still open, Logan changed it's name to McKenzie (after a popular principal) and is still open. The photos above for Logan and Harper are incorrect, the photos need to be swapped. Harper is still open as a grade school and has been expanded a couple of times since the 1950's. Highcrest was a grade school but closed in the early 1980's and became a park district building. It reopened as a middle school in the late 1990's and has gone through multiple additions since then. Old Gross Point school was converted to Huerter Post American Legion a long time ago but that building was torn down in 2020 and an apartment building was built on the lot. Not listed above was Bell grade school and Romona grade school. Romona was built in the late 1950's or early 60's and is still a grade school. Bell school (Skokie Boulevard) named after Millard D. Bell - Head of District 39 from 1940 to 1965) was built in 1965, closed in 1978 and was sold to a business and became offices but was later sold to the Park district which needed a building once Highcrest re-opened.
Between 1977 and 1980 Bell, Howard, Highcrest all closed due to the post baby boom drop off.
Millard Bell basically lead the charge for the rebuilding of Central & McKenzie, expanding Howard, expanding Highcrest, and later building Romona, Locust and Bell all to handle the baby boomers.
Hi. Some great information by all and particularly the preceding comments by Dudley Dawson.
Some comments and questions.
West Wilmette prior to the early 50’s had been primarily farmland,particularly German farmers. Land was starting to be cleared around the time I was born,1954. By word of mouth,young professionals who wanted to raise their families in the suburbs started moving in toward the mid and late 50’s from the north side of Chicago,particularly from areas like Logan Square and Rogers Park. Ultimately,because of the baby boom hundreds and hundreds of families had moved there by the mid 60’s. I have generally always considered West Wilmette to be the area from Lake Avenue to Old Glenview Road,north to south,and from and from the median of those points on Skokie Blvd traversing Hibbard Road and New Glenview to Ridge(somd would say Crawford,but Sandy and Alpine Lanes were in the middle past Hunter Road so it’s a matter of opinion.). New Glenview Road was extended from Skokie Blvd to intersect with Wilmette Ave near Hunter in the spring of 1962. Our family moved to Vista Court in June 1960. Vista Court was the cul de sac off Old Glenview Road next to several old houses toward Crawford and the unused cornfield which became Centennial Park in the mid 70’s. Vista Drive ran down to New Glenview Road and was at that time the southeastern- most point of West Wilmette.
Because of the enormous and unexpected influx of school-age children,school boundaries were constantly changing throughout the 60’s often not making much sense. The kids on my block and Westmoreland and Sunset Drive went to Highcrest for elementary school. Inexplicably,the kids on Wilshire east and west Brookside and Locust,all east of Westmoreland,went to Romona. I cannot think of a nicer place to have grown up than Wilmette in those years.
What year did Highcrest elementary school officially open? Seems to be conflicting answers to that. What year did Howard junior high open? What year did St. Joseph school open? What year did the Village Green skating rink open? I believe the Curtis Curling rink opened in 1968-I recall some friends and I receiving coupons for free introductory curling lessons.
Finally,is New Trier West high school still open at all? I know that sometime after the early 80’s because of the waning baby boom,students graduated from New Trier East and NTW fluctuated between being open for freshmen and sophomore classes and only freshman.
David- I don't know all of the answers but I will try a couple. I don't know the exact date that Highcrest opened because it was not part of school district 39 but part of district 40 which was the Gross Point school district. There is not much online about district 40. Howard school opened up in 1924. I don't know when the Village Green skating rink opened but it closed in 1973 because of Centennial opening. New Trier West is open as a school for New Trier Freshman only. It's called New Trier - Northfield campus. Sophomore, Junior and Senior go to the Winnetka Campus, which used to be New Trier East.
The New Trier West gymnasium was where the interiors for Home Alone were shot, so when that comes on at Christmas and Kevin in running around the house being chased by Harry and Marv, he's actually in the New Trier West gym!
Sarah Rothschild, Realtor & Architectural History Nerd.