Lincoln High School (Seattle)

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Cascadia Elementary School (Abraham Lincoln High School)
Seattle - Lincoln High 02.jpg
North side of building in 2007
4400 Interlake Avenue North
Seattle, Washington 98103
United States
Type Public
Established 1907[1]
Status In-Use (as Cascadia Elementary; High School planned to reopen in 2019)
Closed 1981
School district Seattle Public Schools
Grades 10–12   (1907–1971)
  9–12   (1971–1981)
Enrollment 900 max as elementary,
2,800 at peak (1950s)[1]
Color(s) Crimson and black[1]
Mascot Lynx[1]
Newspaper The Lincoln Totem
Yearbook Totem

Abraham Lincoln shortened to 'Lincoln' is a former public high school in Seattle, Washington, part of the Seattle Public Schools district.[1] The voter approved Building Excellence (BEX IV)[2] initiative of February 2013, is set to see Lincoln reopen as a Comprehensive High School in the Fall of 2019.[3] Currently, the school houses the North Seattle site for the Highly Capable Cohort, known as Cascadia Elementary, for Seattle's academically highly gifted students. It is also the temporary home of an 18-21 transition program and Licton Springs K-8, an alternative school program.


The school was built in 1906 in the Wallingford neighborhood to handle the growth in the area.[4] It opened in 1907 and until 1971 was a three-year high school, thereafter a four-year high school. Lincoln closed as a school in its own right in 1981, and the building has been used several times since as a temporary location for other Seattle schools as their own buildings underwent restoration.[1][5] The Lincoln building housed Ballard High School in 1997–1999 while their current facility was being built, then the Latona Elementary School (1999–2000) and Bryant Elementary School (2000–2001) while their respective buildings were renovated.[1] It next housed Roosevelt High School in 2004–2006 and Garfield High School in 2006–2008 while their respective buildings were being renovated and upgraded. September 2009 to June 2010, Lincoln was the home to the Hamilton International Middle School while the Hamilton building was renovated and housed the recently split APP North middle school cohort for one year with Hamilton in 2009-2010.[citation needed] McDonald Elementary occupied Lincoln during the 2010 and 2011 school years while their building was being renovated. Beginning in September 2011, the Lincoln building became the home of the elementary Highly Capable Cohort, for students who live in the north end of the city (including Queen Anne and Magnolia.) In September 2012, the site was renamed APP at Lincoln (now Cascadia Elementary) for the interim. Cascadia Elementary and the north-end Highly Capable Cohort will relocate to a newly constructed permanent location on the Wilson-Pacific campus in Fall of 2017. The building will then go under renovations and become an Attendance Area high school in 2019.

Like many Seattle schools, Lincoln was impacted by the Japanese American internment during World War II. Among those interned were the president of the boys' Lynx Club and girls' Triple L and the editor of the school newspaper, the Totem.[1]

After the war, Edison Technical School (later Seattle Central Community College) on Seattle's Capitol Hill expanded and took over the facilities of Broadway High School, mainly to serve returning veterans. Broadway's regular high school student body were all transferred to Lincoln.[6] For some years after the war, Lincoln also served Seattle's northern neighbor Shoreline, until that suburb built its own high school. In 1948, the school was receiving letters warning of communists within the teaching staff.[4] In 1949, during a tuberculosis outbreak, Lincoln sent teachers to Firland Sanatorium, and patients earned Lincoln diplomas.[1]

The 1950s were Lincoln's heyday. In 1959–60, enrollment reached 2,800, the city's largest at that time. Under principal Homer M. Davis (served 1954–1969), a former teacher and coach, the school was a major power in sports, especially basketball and baseball.[1]

In 1953 Warren Littlejohn joined Lincoln's faculty, becoming the first African American to teach in a Seattle public high school.[7] In 1973, Roberta Byrd Barr became Lincoln's principal, making her both the first woman principal and the first African American principal of a Seattle public high school.[8][9][10]

During this period "busing" was introduced and some saw the decline in numbers due to residents moving or deciding to send their children to private schools.[11]

Despite its enormous attendance less than a generation earlier, Lincoln was closed in 1981 due to declining enrollment. The school remained a strong one until the end, though. At the time the decision was made to shutter Lincoln, the Totem newspaper had been rated All-American by the National Scholastic Press Association seven semesters in a row, and it had a notable arts magnet program and an excellent special education program.[1]

In the years after its closure, the Lincoln building was used by various community and religious organizations, including the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club. A 1993 plan would have renovated Lincoln as a new home for Hamilton Middle School, also setting aside part of the building for community services. Instead, it has become an interim location for other schools.[1]


Lincoln High School comprises five main buildings on a single campus. The three western buildings are co-joined and form a cohesive historic presence facing Interlake Ave N. The two eastern buildings are stand-alone structures constructed in the 1950s.

The original building, which opened in 1907, is now the center block of the three co-joined historic buildings. It was designed by the school district’s in-house architect, James Stephen. Between 1914 and 1920 the north wing and several other minor additions were added by Stephen’s successor, Edgar Blair. The 1930 south wing was added by Stephen’s successor, Floyd A. Naramore, In the late 1950s the Gymnasium building and Theater building, both along the east edge of the site, were designed by the firm of Naramore, Bain, Brady, and Johanson (founded by Naramore after he left the employ of the school district, and now known as NBBJ).[1][12] The two mid-century style buildings opened in 1959. The school’s property was also enlarged in 1957 to cover 6.72 acres. Since then the playfield has been replaced by a paved parking area.[13][14][15][16]

A bronze bust of a young Abe Lincoln, sculpted in 1964 by Avard Fairbanks, stands on the east side of the school.[1]

Two of Seattle Public Schools' levies (BTA IV levy, approved by voters in 2016 and BEX IV levy, approved by voters in 2013) include funds for significant upgrades to the facilities to support Lincoln High School's planned re-opening as a comprehensive high school in 2019.[17][18]

Notable alumni[edit]

+ Constance (Connie) Towers Gavin, a 1949 graduate; stage and screen actress; and married to actor John Gavin, former US Ambassador to Mexico.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Thompson & Marr 2002
  2. ^ Seattle Public Schools. "BEX IV Overview". Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Seattle Public Schools. "Lincoln Building". Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Seattle's women teachers of the interwar years, Doris Hinson Pieroth, p 15, 2004, ISBN 0-295-98445-7, accessed May 2009
  5. ^ Clark Humphrey, Vanishing Seattle, Arcadia Publishing, 2006. ISBN 978-0-7385-4869-2. p. 74.
  6. ^ Paul Dorpat, Broadway High School, Seattle's first dedicated high school, opens in 1902, HistoryLink, 2001-04-15. Accessed 2009-05-25.
  7. ^ Carole Beers, Warren Littlejohn, 80, Teacher Who Instilled Love Of Language, Seattle Times, 1997-10-04. Accessed 2009-05-25.
  8. ^ Mary T. Henry, Barr, Roberta Byrd (1919-1993), HistoryLink, 1998-11-09. Accessed 2009-05-25.
  9. ^ MetropoLIST 150: The 150 Most Influential People in Seattle/King County History Archived 2007-12-27 at the Wayback Machine. (nominations), Seattle Times, part of "150 Years, Seattle By and By" (2007). Accessed 2009-05-25.
  10. ^ Women educators, Patricia A. Schmuck, p136, accessed May 2009
  11. ^ Seattle, past to present, Roger Sale, p 243, ISBN 0-295-95615-1, accessed May 2009]
  12. ^ Landmark Nomination Application, Chief Sealth High School Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine., (Seattle) Landmarks Preservation Board, p. 11. Accessed 2009-05-25.
  13. ^ James Stephen, Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2016-03-20
  14. ^ Seattle Public Schools, Lincoln, Abraham, High School, PCAD Library. Retrieved 2016-03-20
  15. ^ Edgar Blair (Architect), PCAD Library. Retrieved 2016-03-20
  16. ^ Floyd Archibald Naramore (Architect), PCAD Library. Retrieved 2016-03-20
  17. ^ BTA IV levy information. Retrieved 2016-03-20
  18. ^ Seattle Public Schools BEX IV information. Retrieved 2016-03-20
  19. ^ Paula Becker, Carlson, Edward "Eddie" E. (1911-1990), HistoryLink, 2005-01-05. Accessed 2009-05-25.
  20. ^ Joe Veyera, "Mariners' 'Peanut Man' Had Shoreline Connection Rick Kaminski was a King's and Shoreline Community College Student," Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Patch, July 28, 2011.
  21. ^ Sheila Farr, John Franklin Koenig, prolific artist, dies at 83 Archived 2009-06-21 at the Wayback Machine., Seattle Times, 2008-01-04. Accessed 2009-05-25.
  22. ^ Mildred Andrews, MacDonald, Betty (1908-1958), 1994-11-04. Accessed 2009-05-25.
  23. ^ Dorothy M. Provine Day, Obituary, Seattle Times, May 2, 2010. Accessed 2015-10-23.
  24. ^ Frank Chesley, Stern, Bernice (1916-2007), HistoryLink, 2006-11-07, updated 2007-06-30. Accessed 2009-05-25.
  25. ^ The Glory of Washington, Jim Daves, W. Thomas Porter, 2001, ISBN 1-58261-221-8, accessed May 2009

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°39′36″N 122°20′24″W / 47.66000°N 122.34000°W / 47.66000; -122.34000