Golda Meir School
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Golda Meir School (lower campus)
|Location||1515 N. Martin Luther King Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA|
|Area||1.10 acres (4,500 m2)|
|Architect||H. C. Koch & Co|
|MPS||Brewers' Hill MRA|
|NRHP Reference #||84003720|
|Added to NRHP||August 2, 1984|
|Designated NHL||December 14, 1990|
The Golda Meir School (originally Fourth Street School) for gifted and talented students is a Milwaukee Public Schools district elementary, middle, and high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The school offers classes for students in grades three through nine. It was renamed in honor of Golda Meir, the fourth Prime Minister of Israel, who attended the institution from 1906 to 1912. There are two campuses: the lower campus and the upper campus. The lower campus building is a National Historic Landmark, designated in 1990 for its association with Meir.
Situated next to the historic Schlitz Brewing Complex of the same era, the Fourth Street School, now the Meir School lower campus, was designed in 1889 by noted Milwaukee architect Henry C. Koch in Romanesque Revival style. It was completed by 1890 and opened its doors on September 2, 1890.
H-shaped in plan, the school building has four stories (basement included) and contains 16 classrooms along with an auditorium. A single story heating plant was added in 1915, with a fuel room to follow in 1937. Fire escapes and enclosure of the stairways brought the building up to code in 1957. Renovation of the interior and exterior took place in 1976, during which a cafeteria was added.
Golda Meir had three classrooms in grade 3, grade 4, and grade 5. That left it with only enough room for one class in grade 6, grade 7, and grade 8. As a result, there were about 90 students in each of the elementary grades but only 30 students in each of the middle school grades. The 60 other students had to go to school somewhere else after grade 5. In 2011, parents asked the school board to allow grade 6 though 8 to move into the closed Milwaukee Education Center middle school, which is adjacent to Golda Meir's property. The building previously housed the Malt House of the long-closed Schlitz Brewery. The expansion has allowed all of Golda Meir's students to remain in the school. Golda Meir will add grade 9 in 2014 and will continue to add grades until the Schlitz building has a high school population of 600 students.
Golda Meir School, as it was renamed on May 4, 1979, is one of the city's original magnet schools. The Gifted and Talented Program was implemented in the 1970s to further stimulate and develop the abilities of talented pupils. A two block long mural on the playground retaining wall was started in 1979 by students. Titled "Milwaukee Illustrated" it celebrated the city's history until removed in 1998 to make way for a new theme, "Golda's Gallery: The Decades on Display."
In commemoration of the events of September 11, 2001, a "Labyrinth of Peace" was drawn on to the school playground. The single circuit labyrinth is used as a tool for students to reflect on what peace means to them.
Golda Meir recounts in her book My Life that she "learned a lot more than fractions or how to spell at Fourth Street School..." When she was in fourth grade, Meir undertook her first public works project by organizing a fundraiser to pay for her classmates' textbooks. She rented a hall and scheduled a public meeting for the event.
A plaque mounted outside the front door of the school reads in part "it was here that she learned the values that carried her through life."
On October 3, 1969 Golda Meir revisited the school, accompanied by National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and local Aldermen Vel Phillips and Orville Pitts. The school has since been named in her honor in 1979.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1990. It is one of three buildings in the United States with a significant association with Meir.
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Wisconsin
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- James H. Charleton (July 9, 1990). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Fourth Street School / Golda Meir School" (pdf). National Park Service. and Accompanying four photos, exterior and interior, from 1983 and 1990 (32 KB)
- National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Fourth Street (Meir) School". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2009-04-03. Retrieved 2008-03-06.