Aerial view of Washington High School
in the late 1970's
To sites 10 and 11
10) St. Simeon Mirotocivi (114th and Avenue G)
Post World War II Serbian immigrants organized St. Simeon Mirotocivi Serbian Orthodox Church in 1964. They left St. Micheal Archangel Church during a brief schism in the Serbian Orthodox Church, which ended in 1992. The building is a reproduction of the 15th Century Serbian Monastery of Kalenich. The architects area Pavlecic, Kovacevic and Markovich and the style is the Morava school of Serbian Byzantine Architecture.
High School (3535 East 114th Street)
As you drive west on 114th Street there is a definite contrast between various styles and eras of residential architecture. To the right are homes that were primarily built in the post WW II housing boom. There are single family residences, duplexes, and apartment dwellings. To the left are single family houses built in more recent years on land that was once mostly wetlands. In fact, there are numerous protected wetland sites on the outskirts of the area. Many of these wetland areas were filled in with slag from the surrounding mills. There are a variety of housing styles in the area of the East Side ranging from very modest to much more ornate styles. A brief detour along the route takes you to the home built by former Alderman Edward Vrdolyak at 115th and Avenue J.
Washington High School is architecturally significant because it is different from typical Chicago school buildings. It resembles suburban schools built at the same time. It was built at the same time as the suburban boom occurring in the United States in the 1950's. A recent rehab at the school has taken this historical significance into account. The cornerstone was laid in 1956 and the architectects are Perkins and Will, a well known Chicago firm. The school was formally dedicated on April 9, 1958. The first students, 72 in all, entered the high school in February 1957. Over 400 additional students transferred from Bowen High School in September 1957. The first graduating class was February 1960 when 50 students graduated. In June 1960 122 graduates received diplomas. The school was originally intended to serve students from the East Side and Hegewisch communities. These students formerly had to travel to Bowen High School or Chicago Vocational High School in South Chicago. In the aerial photo at the top of this page (view toward the east) one can see Washington High School and the surrounding area. To the south (right) are Rowan Park and the wetlands of the area, many of which have now been replaced with residences and a shopping mall. The trees at the top of the photo are part of Eggers Grove Forest Preserve.