Author Archives: garycoopr

Bryant Ave: History of Education

This exhibit demonstrates that during the early 20th century southern Minneapolis saw an increase in the number of schools centered around Bryant Avenue.

When looking at education around Bryant avenue two schools in particular come to mind. These two being the “Clara Barton School” and the “Lake Harriet Montessori School” The Clara Barton school was initially founded in 1905 with some minor renovations being made in 1923. The school was named after Clara Barton a civil war nurse who helped found the American Red Cross. In the early years the school served mainly families which lived on Bryant, Lyndale, Aldrich and Colfax Avenues. Although the school started with an intimate class size and maintained this for much of its history, by the 50’s had swollen from its recommended rate of 450 students to the 548 which actually inhabited the school. These rates help to showcase just how important the Clara Barton school was to the surrounding community and how the rapid growth of the student body and expectations placed immense strain on the schools resources.

Lake Harriet served a similar role to Clara Barton, being founded in 1906 with subsequent renovations in both 1908 and 1911. Although smaller the school helped to alleviate some of the pressure being placed on other schools in the area and also increased the coverage for education in the region. This smaller size however led to similar issues the Clara Barton schooled faced in which the school had dramatically been overpopulated by the 50’s. Efforts to fix this helped to bring the numbers down however they once again skyrocketed by the end of the next decade. Although schools have been added to the surrounding area these first two have an indelible mark on the education of the community and its fabric as a whole.

All of my sources help to show the increase in schools in southern Minnesota, and the impact this had on the surrounding community. This impact increased over the years, just as the schools did. Ultimately the impact of these schools forever changed the face of modern education in southern Minnesota. Being an important wave of modern schools for their time.


“Barton.” Barton. Accessed May 04, 2019.

“Lake Harriet.” Lake Harriet. Accessed May 04, 2019.

“Lake Harriet” Accessed May 04, 2019.“Clara

Barton School” Accessed May 04, 2019.

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