John Campbell School
John Campbell Public School
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
John Campbell School is located at 1255 Tecumseh Road East at Hall Avenue, southeast of Windsor's city center, in an area generally referred to as South Walkerville. The red-brick and stone two-storey building is perhaps the finest and best-preserved example of Neo-Gothic Collegiate architecture in the City of Windsor. It is recognized by City of Windsor Bylaw 68-2009.
John Campbell School is historically significant because of its continuous role, since 1927, as a public school for the South Walkerville community. It was named for long-time school trustee Mr. John A. H. Campbell who served an unprecedented 16 years on the school board. His contributions to public education earned him this namesake thirteen years after his death in 1914.
John Campbell School is perhaps the finest and best-preserved example of Neo-Gothic Collegiate architecture in the City of Windsor. The school was designed by the well-known local architectural firm of Nicholls, Sheppard and Masson in 1926. During the grand opening of the school on September 14, 1927, John Campbell School was called “the finest public school building in Ontario” even though it was also an “economy school.”
Its most striking feature is the beautifully designed central bay – flanked by well-proportioned classroom wings – set well back from Tecumseh Road across a landscaped lawn. The massive Neo-Gothic entrance with its recessed arch is adorned with carved classical icons celebrating education. The colourful mosaic heraldic device above the tripartite-arcaded windows is unique among area schools. Beautifully designed wrought iron grates top the carved wooden entrance doors. While the rear of the school is less ornate, features of note include the unique covered porch to the kindergarten classroom at the rear of the north wing, rear entrances with stone surrounds, and the low stone course.
Behind the front entrance is a generous foyer with decorative carved ceiling beams and brackets. Segmental plaster arches frame the corridor entrances on four sides, and this theme is repeated in arched recesses and glazed openings to adjacent office areas. The space has a continuous travertine marble wainscot. The gymnasium with its beamed ceiling and stage with stone proscenium, and the second floor music room with small stage and skylight are protected interior features.
Located on one of Windsor's major arterial roads, Tecumseh Road, in the South Walkerville neighbourhood, the school is a Windsor landmark. Its location, set well back from the road across a landscaped front yard, gives it a park-like setting that allows the passerby to appreciate its architectural significance.
Source: City of Windsor Bylaw 68-2009
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the John Campbell School include its:
- Two-storey red-brick construction with stone trim (including a low stone course) and small pane metal frame windows.
- Central bay on the north facade flanked by well-proportioned wings.
- Massive Neo-Gothic entrance with its recessed arch, adorned with carved classical icons celebrating education.
- Colourful mosaic heraldic device above the tripartite arcaded windows.
- Carved wooden entrance doors, topped by beautifully designed wrought iron grates.
- Unique entrance to the kindergarten room with its covered brick-and-stone porch with wooden columns and balustrade and wooden doors.
- Rear entrances with stone surrounds.
- Foyer ceiling with finely carved decorative beams and brackets.
- Ornate glass/wood foyer doors.
- Segmental plaster arches.
- Continuous travertine marble wainscot and marble tile floor.
- Carved ceiling beams in gymnasium.
- Stage with stone proscenium.
- Stone school crest over the exits with words of inspiration - “Enter to Learn” & “Go Forth and Serve.”
- Small stage and ornate skylight in second floor music room.
- Landmark status in South Walkerville on one of Windsor's major east-west arterial roads.
- Generous setback from Tecumseh Road East.
- Association with its namesake, school trustee John A. H. Campbell.
- Design by the well-known and respected local architectural firm of Sheppard & Masson.
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Primary or Secondary School
Architect / Designer
Nicholls, Sheppard and Masson
Location of Supporting Documentation
Office of the Heritage Planner, City of Windsor
350 City Hall Square West
Windsor, ON N9A 6S1
Cross-Reference to Collection