Washington Elementary School in Medford has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.
Built in 1931 during the Great Depression, Washington Elementary was nominated by Medford city planner Kathy Helmer; Cathy de Wolfe, chairwoman of the Medford Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission; and Diana Marmon, a member of the commission.
Designed by architect Frank Chamberlain Clark, the old school at 610 S. Peach Street was built in the Art Deco style. Covering 26,363 square feet, it began as a 15-room, two-story reinforced-concrete building with a gymnasium, auditorium, stage, library, office and a few special-purpose rooms. Three additions have been built since.
The original construction was paid for with a widely supported local bond measure that also funded the construction of Medford High School (now Central Medford High School), and added classrooms to Roosevelt Elementary. The building projects were undertaken in response to Medford's sudden and rapid growth at the end of the 19th century and first third of the 20th century, which resulted in an acute need for new schools in southwest Medford, which was at the time the only area of the city without public schools, the nomination said.
Oregon's State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation recommended the building's nomination in February 2012. More than 40 historic Medford properties, including four historic districts, are now listed in the National Register, which is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.