In 1921, the Sixth Annual White Pine Architectural Competition sought designs for a three-teacher rural school with a teacher’s cottage, to be made of wood, with an outside finish of White Pine. Entrants were asked to envision a single-story building with three standard classrooms, an art room, a science room, a library and a teacher’s room. The architectural style was left up to the designer’s whims, leading to an interesting array of designs in the final six.
According to the competition rules, the schoolhouse had to “set a high standard for good taste and architectural beauty” in the progressive community for which it was meant. While not unusually innovative, the entries had well-articulated plans, and the first and second prize designs were particularly adept in bringing in lots of natural light.
The entries are sturdy and practical, with porches, wood siding, and just enough architectural detail to add visual interest. The judges write of the third prize entry, “The character of the exterior is rich in quiet, rural charm, lacking in too many of the designs submitted.”
See more of this little slice of American rural life in the 1920’s at the White Pine Monograph Library.