Mount Pleasant High School

Joanne Giannini – Saving Mt. Pleasant High School

by guest contributor, Joanne Giannini, freelance writer and a former State Representative from Providence 1995-2011

This is my former school, my neighborhood…archaic but full of history and memories.  It will be a sad day to see it torn down, if that decision is made.

Many of us residents would love to see it restored.  So many RI children went there. It’s historical and structural architecture make it eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.  The building is truly a neighborhood monument and should be restored in some capacity preserving its past but paving the way for a brighter future.

It  was considered a good school in the 1960, and 1970’s.  My cousin “Skippy”John Delsesto” and I walked to take the bus from Daniel avenue in Providence to Mt. Pleasant.  If we missed the bus, we had to walk from Silver Lake to Mt. Pleasant School.

Regardless of the weather, there was one bus daily to school and one bus home.  If you missed it, it was a long walk from the  Silver Lake section in Providence  to Mt. Pleasant High School.  We remember the days of the great football teams Mt. Pleasant High had, the Kilties, and the famous Conley Stadium.  The Mt. Pleasant High school large auditorium, which was used also for many community events and neighborhoods meetings, is  said to be on the chopping block also.  Will it be replaced?  The Mt. Pleasant/Elmhurst  community does not have a community center and the High school auditorium was used for many events.

Mt. Pleasant High School has provided many Rhode Island children with an education throughout the years but has increasingly become one of the poorest structures in our school system.  We all know that children cannot perform in a poor school environment.  They need to be safe and in a clean environment with new technology to thrive.

Yes, the school is deteriorated and needs extensive rehabilitation.  But does that stop those of us who cherish the architecture, the memories and our love for the building from supporting its restoration instead of total demolition?   Those of us who attended  Mt. Pleasant High always took good great pride in our high school.

Presently there are two plans before the Rhode Island Department of Education, one is for total demolition and replacement of a new facility and another is for partial  restoration and structural downsizing.

Friends of Mt. Pleasant High School, how do you feel about them tearing it down and building a new one? Do you support the restoration of Mt. Pleasant High School or support the demolition and establishment of a new school facility?

If you feel, that you would like to see the school building saved and restored, please contact Mayor Smiley at 401-421-7740 and ask for Mayor’s office and the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE @401-222-4600) to voice your opinion.

A Facebook statement from the Providence Preservation Society…

Mount Pleasant High School was completed in 1938 in the Collegiate Gothic Style, a popular style across the country, but relatively rare in Providence.

This largely intact public building is impressively sited on one of the City’s largest public school campuses, providing much welcome and used open space. At this point, it has been determined as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The school has been slated for demolition in the past, resulting in outcry from neighborhood residents, and its future is once again uncertain. The Providence Public School District is considering a range of options from restoration to new construction. Even if the city’s public school buildings weren’t on our Most Endangered Properties list this year, PPS would still advocate for finding a solution that retains the architectural integrity and community value of this public building rather than mothballing or outright replacement.

MEP information:

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