In 1926 the 45th Avenue School of Gary, Indiana was officially named Lew Wallace High School named after General Lew Wallace of the Union Army in the Civil War. General Wallace was also the governor of the New Mexico Territory, and is the author of Ben Hur. The current "A and B wings" of Lew Wallace were constructed in 1933. The most recent addition includes the Richard Polk Gymnasium, which was opened in 1972.
On Tuesday, June 3, 2014, the Gary School Board voted 4-2 to close Lew Wallace, along with 5 other schools.