Third Ward school — the original Webster School — still alive at 125

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The original Webster Elementary School at the corner of Fifth and North streets, first known as the Third Ward school, is undergoing some major structural improvements to its 125-year-old fabric.


The old Third Ward school at 1420 North St. is undergoing major structural repairs if the size of the brick piles around the century-old building is any indication.[wpedon id=”85410″ align=”left”]

Perry’s original Webster Elementary School stands on the northwest corner of Fifth and North streets. Sources conflict as to its age. According to records of the Dallas County Assessor, the building was erected in 1910.

The Perry Historic Preservation Commission’s 2016 picture book, “Perry’s Memory Lane,” gives 1890 as the year of the Third Ward school’s construction.

Perry historian Marjorie Patterson, in her 1997 book, “A Town Called Perry,” said a local builder named Fred Knell was “given the contract to erect it on May 11, 1893, for a grand total of $1,619.”[wpedon id=”85410″ align=”left”]

The first Webster Elementary closed in 1914 and was succeeded by the second-named Webster Elementary, which opened the same year on Third Street between North and Paul streets.

If Patterson’s date for construction of the first Webster Elementary is correct, then the 125-year-old building has not only outlasted its successor, the second Webster Elementary, but also the Lincoln Elementary and Roosevelt Elementary. All three elementary schools were closed in 1992, with the opening of the new Perry Elementary School, and demolished shortly afterward.

Part of the reason the old Third Ward school survived this long might have to do with its conversion in 1920 into an apartment house with a stucco exterior.

The vacant property was purchased in August 2017 by 1420 North LLC for $3,000, according to county records, and was sold in March 2018 to JC and JC Homes LLC for $54,000.[wpedon id=”85410″ align=”left”]

1 COMMENT

  1. What is going to be there when they get finished remodeling this building? I live right around the Fifth Street block?

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