West Liberty Elementary School - 1909

West Liberty Elementary School - 1909

A 1909 postcard image of West Liberty Elementary School, located along Pioneer Avenue. The school, known as the Little Red Schoolhouse, was built in 1898 at a cost of $7000. A four-room addition was built in 1906. The school was in service until 1938, when students were transfered to the new West Liberty Elementary School, built on Dunster Street.

The school building was purchased by the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1941, and was soon re-opened as Elizabeth-Seton High School for girls. The old school building remained in service until 1971. It was then torn down to make room for a new expansion of the high school.

During it's first few years, West Liberty School served children from Brookline and Beechview. Children from Mount Lebanon were permitted to attend for a monthly tuition of $2.50.

For several years, beginning in 1900, Professor Joseph Moore was principal of West Liberty Elementary. It was Professor Moore's vision of continuing secondary education for his West Liberty graduates that led to the practice of free public education for high school students in Pittsburgh.

Professor Moore induced the school board to make arrangements for his graduates to attend the Knoxville Union high school for which the School Board paid a yearly tuition of $50 a year for each pupil.

In 1908, overcrowding at West Liberty Elementary School led to the construction of Brookline Elementary School at Woodbourne and Pioneer Avenues.

In addition to serving as a school, this building was, for a time, the temporary home of the St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran and the West Liberty United Presbyterian churches.

Finally, this Little Red Schoolhouse was actually the second version of West Liberty Elementary School. The original was a frame structure built along West Liberty Avenue across from Cape May Avenue.

* Photo provided by Tom Castrodale *

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