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Park School

2704 Highway #6, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/05/04

Park School; City of Vernon, 2010
Front elevation, 2009
Park School; Greater Vernon Museum and Archives photo #831, 1900
Historic view, 1900
Park School; City of Vernon, 2010
View of home economics building, 2009

Other Name(s)

Park School
Park School Building
Fulton Annex
Okanagan Science Centre

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/05/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Park School, a two-storey Late-Victorian brick school constructed at the northeast corner of Polson Park in Vernon British Columbia in 1893, is a designated municipal heritage site. The site comprises the original portion of the school and Vernon Heritage Hall (c. 1930), a small brick home economics building to the north of the school.

Heritage Value

Built in 1893 as Vernon’s third Elementary School, Park School is valued as a landmark building located prominently at the eastern entrance to the City, in the northeast corner of Polson Park. Built at a cost of over $5000, the school is a reflection of the rapid growth of Vernon in its early civic stage. The building was designed to reflect the pre-eminent position of education in civil society. Its scale and symmetrical classical architectural features emphasize this. The survival of the building, its restoration and adaption as a science centre and arts centre (back addition), and its designation as a municipal heritage site are further testaments to its enduring value to the community.

The school is notable for its association with education in Vernon for over a century. Originally a four room school with boys and girls activity rooms in the basement, it was added to several times, and a new school (Vernon High School, renamed Clarence Fulton in 1964), now demolished, was built to the west. As Vernon’s first brick school, the building is a symbol of the city’s growth and the enduring importance of education to the community. Notable educators associated with the school included Clarence Fulton, who was appointed Principal in 1918 and remained with the Vernon school system for 35 years. Clarence Fulton Secondary School, which was built behind Park School, was named after him.

Park School is also valued as a superb architectural icon from the nineteenth century. The oldest surviving brick school in the BC Interior and possibly in the Province, it is a masterful example of late Victorian Italianate design. It is a two-storey structure placed on a raised basement. The front façade is symmetrical with a hipped roof surmounted by a decorative cupola. The front façade is divided into three parts by brick pilasters. The wide roof overhang is clad with boards and decorated with a frieze of prominent wooden brackets. The lower storey features a central porch with pedimented roof and a pair of magnificent Queen Anne windows. The school is constructed of Vernon brick laid in stretcher bond. The architect was A. M. Muir, a Scottish immigrant to Victoria who designed the first Courthouses in Nelson and Vernon. The contractor was T. E. Crowell, one of Vernon’s earliest and most prolific builders.

Source: City of Vernon Planning Department

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the Park School include its:
- prominent location at the northeast corner of Highway 6 and Polson Park, fronting Highway 6 and 25th Avenue
- symmetrical rectangular form, with its window arrangement, hipped roof, central portico, and cupola
- sympathetic south addition with matching brick facing and portico
- fine Queen Anne windows in the main storey façade and groups of double-hung four-over-two-light windows above
- brick building to the north (Vernon Heritage Hall leased by the Vernon Heritage Society from the City of Vernon), built as a home economics building and featuring an excellent Flemish bond brick pattern on its exterior walls



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Exhibition Centre


Primary or Secondary School

Architect / Designer

A.M. Muir


T.E. Crowell

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vernon Planning Department

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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