Nelson Street School/Parkdale Elementary School by Alden B. Dow

While the initial site plan for Midland High School was being sketched by Alden B. Dow in December of 1953, one corner of the same 60-acre plot of land was soon to become the location of Nelson Street Elementary School.  For the design, the Board of Education again selected Mr. Dow, who completed the drawings for the school in May 1954.  Bids were opened one month later, with W. R. Collinson & Son of Midland awarded the general construction contract.  The total cost including all trades was $425,638, plus $5,337 for furniture and equipment.

A basically rectangular floorplan was divided roughly in half with one story to the east of the entrance lobby and a larger two-story section to the west.  The tan brick façade featured narrow vertical bands of aluminum-clad windows separated by plaster friezes between the two floors.  The one-story portion housed two kindergarten rooms and two classrooms, while the two-story portion contained seven classrooms, an arts and crafts room, library, offices, and gymnasium/assembly room.

Nelson Street School opened in September 1955 with 289 students and a staff of nine teachers.  At the time of its official dedication in January 1956, however, it was renamed Parkdale Elementary School.  By the end of 1956, Mr. Dow was again preparing drawings for a two-story addition on the west side of the building that provided eight more classrooms.

Parkdale School closed in 2010 as part of the Midland Public Schools consolidation plan and was demolished in December 2015.

Nick King/Midland Daily News

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