Photo Tour of the Old SCPA / Historic Woodward High School

The former SCPA / Woodward High School building was recently sold at auction to Indianapolis-based Core Redevelopment. The sale of the huge, historic building has sparked interest due to its unique features and prominent position in the community. The former school has an 1,100 auditorium, two gymnasia, a swimming pool, ornate stained glass windows, and Rookwood Pottery tile fixtures and water fountains donated by the Cincinnati Art League. The adjacent Cutter Playground is also included in sale and is a vital neighborhood resource. According to…, “The main entryway has a large stained glass window titled ‘The Landing of William Woodward at Cincinnati in Fall of 1791’, which was saved from the original 1855 building.” The mortal remains of William Woodward and Abigail Cutter Woodward are also buried on site.

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Any potential redevelopment will almost surely require parking considerations and many neighbors worry that Cutter Playground’s greenspace could be sacrificed.

Some of these features are shown in the photo tour below. All interior photos provided.

Core Redevelopment’s plans for the property have not yet been disclosed.

13 Responses to “Photo Tour of the Old SCPA / Historic Woodward High School”
  1. Bri says:

    I have so many memories of being in that building! Awesome shots!

  2. Jonespeelman says:

    those details shots are gorgeous.

  3. Larry Pittman says:

    No mention of Agigail Cutter Jr High School. I went there from 59 thru 63. A really beautiful building. Hope it is saved somehow.

  4. If they did underground parking beneath the Cutter playground, or at least a green roof over the structure, the greenspace could be spared. I think it is in Core’s best interest to have a park so close to their new condos/apartments/offices; it would be foolish for them to pave it over.

  5. Matt says:

    I live right next to Cutter Playground and the old SCPA building and would certainly welcome the new residents in the currently uninhabited space. However, I believe it would be shortsighted and ultimately not in its best interest to destroy the same greenspace that makes this corner of the neighborhood unique in the first place. Especially when there are already parking lots, garages, and several on-street options within two blocks.

  6. elmer says:

    I went there when I was in the 7th grade in 1954 it was Woodward high school then.It changed over in 1955 to Cutter Jr High. I graduated from there in 1956 after the 9th grade.

  7. cchdisqus says:

    I spent 7 years of my life in that building. It truly is beautiful. I hope whatever the end result, they manage to preserve it’s architectural beauty – and artistic contributions from rookwood pottery and murals. But I also hope they are able to bring it into a new age that will make it a staple in the community again. A big part of that would be maintaining the green space & auditorium, though. It would be foolish to make the green space into parking. As previously stated, there’s PLENTY of that in the area. If they were to make it into residential space, they’d have to do a serious overhaul with the plumbing and heating in that building. That would be a huge expense. It’s one of the main reason’s SCPA relocated rather than renovated. Too expensive.

  8. Bonnie Speeg says:

    May all the muses, gods, goddesses and lords of light have mercy on this hallowed ground now that it’s in developers (with unknown plans!) hands. All that Rookwood in there, see it in the photos? It could be gone in a flash…..the remains of Woodward and Cutter? Tons and tons of ‘developers ways’ around preserving or respecting them. I knew this would happen. Was on the last tour of the building with the Art League. Am a former ‘Friends of SCPA” member. Heaven help the building. It’s a public signature/identity building….it will most likely never be that way again. No one will be inside except the condo-owenrs, which I bet $50 is going to happen. IMO, thank you.

  9. Jason says:

    THanks for sharing these photos. Its a shame that vandals got in there and spray painted the marble bathroom stalls and subway way tiles. Those are very usable items that could be reused in another building. I would buy up those vintage subway tiles in a heart beat!

  10. The ancient beauty of this old school building reminds me of a time when we wanted our children’s minds and bodies to be exposed to beauty, art, physical well being – to call forth their unique gifts and talents.

    Instead, it has become about the standardized tests. How did we lose our way? Our schools now are modeled after factories, as if their “soul” task is to produce parts for the corporate machine.

  11. Andyman says:

    It is my understanding that any building on the National Registry, such as this one, cannot have the architecture of what makes it so special altered, removed or destroyed. Has anyone looked into the legalities of this and the potential artistic and historic loss for more condos/office space? The historical property of this building needs to remain in the possession of the citizens of Cincinnati.

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  1. […] Photo Tour of the Old SCPA / Historic Woodward High School: see the incredible interior of this old school in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, which will hopefully be put to use again soon. […]

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