Peabody Elementary School

Status: Preserved

Address: 2086 Young Avenue, Memphis

Built: ca. 1910-1912

Architectural Style: Beaux Arts

Original Function/Purpose: Education

Peabody Elementary School was placed on the National Register on Sept. 17, 1982.

History: Peabody Elementary School was designed by the firm of Jones and Furbringer, one of eight public schools they were responsible for between 1902 and 1915. This one is said to have been built in 1908, but it appears to have been put to use sometime between 1910 and 1912, when it was first listed in a city directory. Peabody School was named to honor George Peabody who donated $2,000 to the Memphis school system. It and the other schools built during this period reflect the considerable population growth around this time. In 1982 the Memphis Board of Education nominated a dozen schools to the National Register in a Multiple Property Listing of public schools constructed between 1902 and 1915; of the seven that were accepted, Peabody is one of three that remain in use today and are still on the NR. In 2008, just shy of the school’s centennial, Principal Kongsouly Jones noted that she was making sure that “even the smallest historical aspects of the building remained intact.” Two recent additions to the campus are worth noting: a marker placed in 2015 that honors school custodian John B. Weatherall, who collapsed and died in 1953 while making his way to a fire in the building; and one of the city’s early school community garden projects, established in 2012.

 

City Council District: 4

Super County District: 8

County Commission District: 10

DON NEWMAN