EMERSON H. S. FACTS:

--  Located at 716 E. 7th Av (7th & Carolina St), Gary, Indiana

-- Emerson School construction completed in 1908 at a total cost of $225,000.  Emerson opened in 1909 as a K - 12, becoming one of the city's first high schools.

-- The school was named for 19th-century transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson.

-- Emerson had the first high school swimming pool in Indiana and maintained its own zoo.

-- An attempt at racial integration was made in 1927, but ended under pressure and threats from white students.

-- A second attempt at integration took place in 1945.  The level of protest was such that Frank Sinatra came to Gary, addressed the students at Memorial Auditorium and pleaded for tolerance.

-- Emerson closed in 1981 due to low enrollment, but reopened as Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts, a 5-7 school, in the 1982.

-- Emerson became a 6-12 school in later years.

-- Emerson VPA moved out of the original building in 2008, to the former Kennedy-King school site.

-- In 2010 Emerson VPA located in the former Wirt H.S. complex in Miller, and is nown known as Wirt-Emerson.

-- Among its graduates it is able to claim from the Class of 1931, actor Karl Malden (Mladen Sekulovich) and from the Class of 1954, NFL player/actor Alex Karas. 


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Created 28 Jul 2008 - 01:21:16 Hrs. / Updated 6 Apr 2014 - 11:00:14 Hrs.

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