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Sarah D. Ottiwell School

Created on: 09/21/16 08:25 PM Views: 1691 Replies: 1
Sarah D. Ottiwell School
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2016 08:25 PM

To my classmates who may have lived in the north end of New Bedford and attended the Sarah D. Ottiwell school.

 

 

On July 21, 2016 the current Alma del Mar Charter School occupying the former Sarah D. Ottiwell grammar school building held an open-house to "Celebrate Ottiwell". The event was organized to allow the public, especially former students, their parents, and teachers who were part of the school's history one last opportunity to view the school before it is demolished this fall.

 

The school, built in 1918, is nearly a century old and was built at a cost of approximately $197,000.00. The school was built in response to population grow in New Bedford that had tripled to nearly 96,000 from its previous level within a relatively short period of time. The impetus for this population increase was the growth of textile mills following the whaling boom. At the same time, approximately 300 tenement buildings were constructed to house the population increase.

 

The Sarah D. Ottiwell school was the most distinctive school building in the city with its Mediterranean style design, stucco finish, and fresco panels. The school was closed in 2010 and re-opened in 2011 as a charter school, Alma del Mar. However, the required cost to address major needed repairs have resulted in the construction of a new charter school on the property and the closure of this historic school.

 

Hopefully, the following pictures will bring back some fond memories to those classmates who attended the Sarah D. Ottiwell School. If any of you have an interesting stories about your time at Sarah D. Ottiwell, please share them with the rest of us.

 

Main entrance facing Madera Avenue, formerly Diamond Street

 


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Inside of the Main entrance is a hallway with a classroom on each side. This is a picture of the Nurse's office (left) and Principal's office (right) through the doorway at the end of the hall.

 


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The following picture is the hallway left of the Nurse's office leading to the Hathaway Street Side of the building. One learned very quickly not to touch the steam (I believe) pipes along the wall in the winter months.

 


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This is a view of the first Hathaway Street entrance which is closest to Madeira Avenue. Note the fresco panel about the entrance way.

 


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Here is a closer look at the fresco panel above the entrance way.

 


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This is a picture of the classroom on the left side of the first entrance on the Hathaway Street side (above). This is the classroom where I and a number of my classmates, including Russell Sobral had Miss Morgardo for a sixth grade teacher.

 


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The following three pictures are of the Kindergarten classroom which was under the care of everyone's beloved Miss Moscroe (spelling?). Also show are two views of the courtyard accessible through the back of the classroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following is a picture of the auditorium located towards the back of the building, where the meet and greet was held for this event.

 

 

 

 

 

The following picture is of the classroom at the first entrance on the Earle Street side of the building, closest to Madeira Avenue (formerly Diamond Street).

 

 

The following three pictures are of the classroom at the first entrance on the Earle Street side and directly across from the classroom pictured above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another example of a fresco panel located above an entrance on the Hathaway Street side of the building.

 

 

Lastly, this is a picture of the back of the school, which given the slope of the land was higher than the front entrance.

 

 

 

To all my fellow Sarah D. Ottiwell School alumni, I hope that you enjoy this brief look into the past.

 

Bob Costa

 
RE: Sarah D. Ottiwell School
Posted Sunday, September 25, 2016 06:00 PM

A really nice, and well-done historical remembrance!  Thank you!