State nominates Southborough’s South Union School as historic place

The Massachusetts Historical Commission recently nominated a handful of buildings to be included in the National Register of Historic Places, and Southborough’s South Union School was one of them.

Approval from the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. is needed before the school gets added to the national register. If the nomination is approved, it would allow the town to apply for matching state funds to help preserve the building.

The Southborough Historical Commission submitted the original application to the state to get South Union School named an historic place. An example of Classic revival-style architecture, the school it was built in 1912 by well-known architect Frank Irving Cooper who built a number of area schools in the early 1900’s.

The building was last used as a school during the 1979-1980 academic year when it housed the town’s kindergarten program. It is now home to the Arts Center and the town’s Recreation and Facilities Departments.

South Union School has undergone improvements in the past couple of years, with voters at town meeting allocating Community Preservation Act funds to replace the windows and doors, repair masonry, and do some painting. The improvements have been overseen by the Southborough Historical Commission.

Updated (3/10/21 2:51 pm): [Editor’s Note by Beth: In February 2011, the U.S. Dept of Interior confirmed the building’s addition to the National Register. While this initiative was referred to in posts years later as successful, I couldn’t find any specific blog coverage of that. So, I’m adding the information here.]

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John Kendall
11 years ago

Matching state funds? In this day and age I highly doubt that. The commonwealth is still walking away from funding other programs.

Debbie
11 years ago

I’d love to see some pictures from when it was newly built.

Kate Matison
11 years ago

The former South Union School was designed in the Classical Revival style — very popular for public buildings as an “American” style that recalled the past.

Neil Rossen
11 years ago

Oh good! Another item for us to add to our taxes as Southborough is left to pick up the tab on trying to keep this uncomfortable building going.

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