Grandview Heights Moment in Time

Wayne Carlson
Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society
The old Broadview School at Fifth and Broadview avenues is shown in this 1954 aerial photo. The building was used by the Grandview Heights school district for the 1917-18 school year to accommodate the overflow of students in the district’s other buildings, due to the tremendous growth of the area.

In 1895, the first school building in Grandview Heights was constructed on a site at the corner of Fairview and First avenues. The school was called the Harding School and originally had two rooms on the south side. It was expanded to four rooms sandwiching a tall central tower in 1898. 

The turn of the century saw significant growth in the fledgling village, and the four rooms were inadequate for the increasing number of students. This need for additional facilities prompted the construction of the Grandview Elementary School (now Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School) for $50,000. When it was completed, the Harding School became the high school, and the first class of seniors in the district (five girls and two boys) graduated in 1916.

By 1917, even those facilities were inadequate. Enrollment in the district by this time had grown to 529 students. High school enrollment alone had increased 446% in the five-year period from 1913, when it had only 17 high school students. That year, the district utilized a four-room school at Fifth and Broadview avenues to accommodate the overflow of students. Grades 1-3 were housed in this building, called the Broadview School (some old maps call it the Fifth Avenue School, and some old records call it the Marble Cliff School). Grades 4-8 were in the Grandview Elementary School building, and the high school classes were in the old Harding School.

In addition to these students, Miss Mary Boyer privately schooled 13 children from the district. Miss Boyer eventually became one of Upper Arlington's first elementary school teachers when the first school was opened. Some parents chose to send their children to Catholic schools or other schools in the Columbus system, due to the inadequate facilities and the resulting limitations to the breadth of the curriculum. 

This circa 1954 aerial photograph shows the old Broadview School in the upper center. In the photo, Fifth Avenue runs diagonally at the left, and Broadview Avenue is at the top. At the bottom is the baseball field at the north end of the current high school athletics property. The inset shows a view of the front of the school from Fifth Avenue.

The Broadview School was torn down, and in the 1970s, the property was purchased to build a Friendly's restaurant, which later was renovated for a Starbucks.

The Press Grille currently occupies that original building, and a CVS store was constructed at the rear of the property. The vacant lot at the lower left in the photo, fronted by Fairview Avenue, is the site of the current Huntington National Bank Tri-Village branch.

This historical narrative from the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society was provided by Wayne Carlson.