Jeff Sexton

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Markham


http://www.pps.k12.or.us/departments/schoolmodernization/1627.htm

Portland Pulic Schools has posted a collection of documents on the historic significance of its school buildings. Markham is an interesting case. PDF here:

http://www.pps.k12.or.us/files/schoolmodernization/Markham_ILS.pdf

I attended this school from 4th through 8th grade. I also went there for kindergarten. First through 3rd grades where at a school down the road a bit, no longer standing.

As the historic assessment notes, the Markham school, named for the poet Edwin Markham, is shaped like an 'H'. The reason for this is that it was built at the height of the cold war to serve as a field hospital in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.

Really.

This is also the reason it's built of brick, and the reason it has ramps instead of stairs throughout the split-level floor plan. I doubt they are there now, but I recall the large circles painted on the paved playground surfaces behind the building, with X marks in the center. These were of course handy for playground games. They were helicopter landing pads.


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